HOUSTON - APRIL 15: Catcher Humberto Quintero #55 of the Houston Astros throws to first base to retire Jason Bartlett of the San Diego Padres at Minute Maid Park on April 15, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Again, we come to the time when we decide who the best players over the past week were. Without further ado...
Hitter of the Week: Brett Wallace - I thought this was going to Hunter Pence, but Wallace has slightly more WAR over that time (which wasn't enough to tip the scales) and is still hitting over .500 for the past week (which did). As I mentioned Wednesday, the power isn't there, but the Astros have gone so long without a hitter who could consistently hit above .300 that I'll take average wherever I can get it.
Pitcher of the Week: Bud Norris - I spoke of Budly's awesomeness in the Stock Watch yesterday, but it's worth repeating. Norris has been a strikeout machine this season. In fact, he's been a strikeout machine his entire career. He's the last Astro to strike out 14 or more in a game and has a K/9 average of 10.29, which is a career high. If that weren't enough, Bud's been a little unlucky this season and should have an ERA under 3.00 if not for a higher HR/9 rate and a higher HR/FB rate. Don't think he's just been lucky with this batting average on balls in play, either, since he's sitting at .333 for the season. Basically, Bud's been for real, which may be the nicest surprise of 2011.
Fielder of the Week: Humberto Quintero - I'm giving this to Q because of one play. That almost-triple play was absolutely not possible without a great effort by Quintero. First, he got on that ball quick enough to catch Betancourt in a rundown. Then, he hustled up the line enough to be in position to catch Lucroy in another rundown before making the throw to Wallace for a possible third out. Sure, his throw across the diamond was low, but it was still a heck of an effort in the first place. Add in his usual masterful defense behind the plate and Q is an easy choice here.