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Chris Iannetta Named AL Player of the Week

First Halo Catcher to Ever Win the Award

Bob Levey

Just as Hank Conger was easing into the picture, Angels catcher Chris Iannetta has such a great week that even Major League Baseball notices!

Iannetta was named American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He batted .429, hit three home runs and had seven RBIs, slugging .952 along the way.

For the season, you might be surprised at how good Iannetta is - his 116 OPS+ (in 373 Plate Appearances) is second on the team to Mike Trout. Combine that with Hank Conger's 112 OPS+ in 232 PA and you have perhaps the best catching tandem in baseball.

Although Iannetta cost the team pitcher Tyler Chatwood in the post-2011 trade to the Rockies, his value in this lost season cannot be understated. Have you seen all the walks Trout has been getting lately? Iannetta's BB per PA rate of 5.73 is way ahead of Trout getting a walk every 6.62 PA. His inflated On-Base Percentage (.367, again second on the team to Trout) takes the sting out of that .232 batting average and his total OPS (.758) is within 0.18 (eighteen percentage points) of Howie, Trumbo and Albert Pujols, so the value is self-evident.

This is the first time an Angels catcher has won Player of the Week since Ellie Rodriguez did it in 1974. Carry no doubt about it, Chris Iannetta will be catching under the light of the Halo for 2014.