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Jorge Soler, Julio Rodríguez headline Ben Verlander's team of the week
Major League Baseball

Jorge Soler, Julio Rodríguez headline Ben Verlander's team of the week

Published May. 29, 2023 2:00 p.m. ET

Another week has come and gone in the 2023 MLB season, which means it's time to share my team of the week!

This week's version doesn't feature many of the faces we've talked about for much of the season. But it does feature a lot of players from the past and players who probably would've been regulars on my team of the week if I began doing it earlier than I did. It also has a couple of rookies.

Let's go!

Dodgers' J.D. Martinez and Marlins Jorge Soler headline Ben's Team of the Week

Ben Verlander gives his Team of the Week and it's headlined by Los Angeles Dodgers' J.D. Martinez and Miami Marlins' Jorge Soler. 

Catcher: Francisco Álvarez, New York Mets — .471 batting average, three home runs, eight RBIs


Alvarez has been dominant lately. He's hit five home runs in his last eight games. He's hit eight home runs this season, which ties the number of home runs hit by all Mets catchers last season. The rookie has been a joy to watch. He's also been one of the best players in baseball since he was called up. 

First base: Yuli Gurriel, Miami Marlins — .542 batting average, two triples, three RBIs, .593 on-base percentage

Gurriel is the first baseman who the Astros let walk and replaced with José Abreu, who finally hit his first home run with the team on Sunday. He hit over .500 this week! Not easy for Astros fans to see this, but like I said, at least Jose Abreu finally got on the board with his first home run on Sunday.

Second base: Willi Castro, Minnesota Twins — .381 batting average, two home runs, three RBIs, 1.149 OPS

He's stepping up in place of a hurt Jorge Polanco. He hit like a good starter. Willi Castro is an awesome player.

Third base: Josh Jung, Texas Rangers — .440 batting average, three home runs, eight RBIs, 1.422 OPS

The second rookie to be named to the team this week! Jung was also in my top two for Rookies of the Week, with Alvarez earning the top honor. 

Shortstop: Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays — .469 batting average, two home runs, seven RBIs, 1.235 OPS

Bo Bichette has continued to play well despite the Blue Jays' struggles as of late. Toronto is in last place in the AL East, which obviously doesn't mean it's out of contention by any means because the division is very good. But Bichette is not the reason why the Blue Jays are struggling. He hit nearly .500 with two home runs, and I must say: he has just great hair.

Outfield: Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins — .406 batting average, six home runs, 11 RBIs, 1.000 slugging percentage

He hit six home runs this past week, six! He also hit .406 while doing it. His slugging percentage, not just his OPS, hit 1.000. What a week for Soler. 

Outfield: Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners — .414 batting average, one home run, four doubles, six RBIs

JuliO's! Rodriguez introduced his cereal brand and announced a pretty cool partnership with Alaska Airlines this week.

He also played well. He's my center fielder for team of the week and I'm so happy for this to be happening. He had a slow start to the year but he's picking it up and playing like we knew he was capable of.

Outfield: Michael Conforto, San Francisco Giants — .391 batting average, three home runs, eight RBIs, 1.271 OPS

He posted nearly a 1.300 OPS this week and is hitting well lately as he's in his first season in the Bay Area.

This leaves us with an outfield of Soler, Rodriguez and Conforto this week. A great outfield, but a bit of a different outfield than what we've been seeing this season. We've seen a lot of Ronald Acuña Jr., a lot of Aaron Judge, a lot of Mike Trout. This is a different look and that's why we do this exercise.

Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez, Los Angeles Dodgers — .423 batting average, three home runs, 7 RBIs, 1.254 OPS

J.D.'s been en fuego ever since he came back he's come back from the injured list. He had some really clutch hits to go along with that impressive stat line. The Dodgers' offense is rolling and so is J.D.

Starting pitcher: Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners — 2-0, 12 innings pitched, 0 earned runs, 18 strikeouts, five hits, four walks

This was a really easy one. He won both of his starts this past week and didn't allow a run over 12 innings pitched. Castillo has been great this year. He had a little bit of a tough skid recently but he was as dominant as you can get this past week, which earned him the honor of being on my team of the week.

Relief pitcher: Craig Kimbrel, Philadelphia Phillies — three saves, one win, four innings pitched, 4.50 ERA, five strikeouts

While the win Kimbrel got came due to a blown save, he reached a big milestone this week. Welcome to the 400 saves club, Craig Kimbrel! An incredible feat, and what an incredible career he's had. In my life, because I only really saw the end of Mariano Rivera's career, Kimbrel's stretch with the Atlanta Braves earlier in his career is the most dominant I've ever seen a closer perform. 

Player of the week: Jorge Soler

He hit six homers this week! And I know this is only player of the week, but he's hit 12 home runs in May. I can't get over though him hitting six home runs in one week. There are going to be plenty of players who don't hit six home runs in the entire year.

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