Wells takes home AL weekly honors

Wells takes home AL weekly honors

Center fielder Vernon Wells can thank the long ball for being named the American League's Bank of America Player of the Week for the period ending July 23.

Wells hit .448 (13-for-29), had a .966 slugging percentage, four home runs and 10 RBIs. He is batting .322 with 26 home runs and 78 RBIs for the 2006 season.

The All-Star started the week off with a home run, four-RBI performance against the Texas Rangers on July 17. Then came a 4-for-5 game against the New York Yankees, when Wells hit a walk-off homer off closer Mariano Rivera in the 11th inning.

"My thinking in that situation is just try to get started early and try to hit it," Wells said of Rivera's offering. "Whatever happens after that happens. [Rivera's] the best."

"It was where I wanted it," Rivera said. "He was able to put good wood on the ball and hit it out of the ballpark. He hit a good pitch."

Wells capped of the week with another multi-hit performance on Sunday against the Yankees, both knocks going for home runs. The 13-5 victory marked his sixth multi-home run game of the season.

"I think he's a future MVP," Toronto manager John Gibbons said recently. "He does it all."

Wells is the third Blue Jay to win the Player of the Week Award this season. First baseman Lyle Overbay (July 5) and starting pitcher Roy Halladay (May 15) were also honored.

A trio of Minnesota Twins also received votes for the honor last week. Outfielder Rondell White hit .423 with two home runs and nine RBIs. Catcher Joe Mauer was .500 with five RBIs and rookie pitcher Francisco Liriano won both of his starts and struck out 17 in just 13 2/3 innings of work. Chicago White Sox pitcher Jon Garland also won both of his starts and accrued a whispy 0.59 ERA.

In recognition of this honor, Tourneau, the world's largest watch store, will give the Bank of America American League Player of the Week Vernon Wells a Tourneau luxury Swiss timepiece.

Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor of the American League and National League Player of the Week Awards, reflecting Bank of America's long-standing tradition of promoting and recognizing higher standards of accomplishment.

D.C. Reeves is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.