A big week at the plate from Sam Haggerty earned the Akron utility man the Eastern League’s Player of the Week award for games played between July 30 and August 5.
Haggerty hit safely in all six games during the week as he extended his hitting streak to eight straight games. But he did more than just hit during his six games on the field as he also walked in five straight games on the way to putting up a .421/.538/.947 line. He drew six walks for the week and added eight hits, including a double, three triples, and one homer, while driving in five runs, scoring seven times, and stealing a pair of bases.
The RubberDucks began the week with a three-game series against the Bowie Baysox from Canal Park. Akron claimed the opener by a 7-4 final and the switch-hitting Haggerty was involved in much of the scoring on the day, crossing the plate safely three times. He flied out in the third, but started the fifth inning by reaching on a throwing error. He moved to second on an error on a caught stealing attempt, then moved to third on his 17th theft of the season before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Logan Ice to put the ‘Ducks up, 2-1.
Haggerty was the second man to the plate in the seventh inning as Akron added on. He started the rally with a single to left, moved to second on a single by Ice, and scored on the inning’s third straight single from Andrew Calica. With a 4-1 lead in the eighth, Akron put up three more runs as Haggerty followed a Mark Mathias walk with one of his own and Ice drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Krieger cleared the bases with a triple, breaking the game open. Bowie scored three times in the top of the ninth, but the win went to Akron, which improved to 65-43.
Akron would rally late on Wednesday, but would fall a run short in a 6-5 defeat to Bowie. Haggerty was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. He lined out in the second but came through with an RBI-double in the fourth to drive in Ka’ai Tom to cut the Akron deficit to 5-3. After being stranded at third that inning, he grounded out in the sixth, but he drew a bases loaded walk to drive in his second run of the day in the two-run inning. Mathias was gunned down at the plate as the potential tying run in the loss.
Haggerty hit sixth on Thursday in the finale with Bowie as Akron dropped its second straight one-run decision. He reached base twice and drove in two of the RubberDucks’ three runs in the loss. His fourth homer of the season tied the game at one in the bottom of the second. His sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth scored Connor Marabell after his leadoff triple to put Akron down, 3-2. He drew a walk in the seventh, but with the tying run at first and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, he flew out to right to end it.
The RubberDucks relocated to Altoona to kick off a three-game weekend series with the Curve on Friday. Haggerty went 5-for-11 in the set with three extra base hits and three walks.
On Friday, Akron dropped its third straight game, falling 6-4 to Altoona. Haggerty had a big game out of the leadoff spot, tripling to start the game before being stranded there. He walked to start the third, but was cut down on the front end of a double play. He tripled for the second time in the fifth, but once again was stranded there. He walked in the seventh, but was erased for the second time on a double play. He grounded out in the ninth.
Haggerty was once again a big part of the Akron offense on Saturday, putting up a 2-for-3 day out of the leadoff spot with three runs scored while extending his walk streak to five straight. Haggerty walked and scored in the first to give Akron an early lead. He struck out in the third, but down 5-2 in the fifth, he tripled in a run and scored on a Krieger sac fly in a five-run inning as the RubberDucks took a 7-5 lead. He singled and scored again the next inning as Akron expanded its lead to 9-5 before holding on for a 9-8 win. Haggerty flied out in his final at bat in the eighth.
The Curve captured the rubber match with the RubberDucks on Sunday, taking a 4-1 final to win the series. Haggerty reached base just once on a single, the only time during the week that he failed to reach base via both hit and walk in the same contest. He flied out in the first, but singled in the third before being doubled up on a liner to first. He struck out in the sixth and flied to right in his final at bat in the eighth.
The 24-year-old Haggerty has played in 62 games for Akron this season, hitting .249 with 15 doubles, four triples, four homers, and 31 RBI while stealing 18 bases on the year. He also spent seven games with the Columbus Clippers, going 3-for-17 in limited action with three singles, two walks, and two runs batted in. A 24th round pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of New Mexico, he is in his fourth season in the Indians organization.
It was the second career Player of the Week award for Haggerty, who previously was recognized by the Carolina League in April of 2017 for his work with the Lynchburg Hillcats. He was both a mid-season and post-season All-Star that year for the Hillcats.
Haggerty joins fellow RubberDucks position player Andrew Calica (June 4-10) in winning Player of the Week awards this season. Shane Bieber (April 5-15) and Sean Brady (July 9-15) have won the Pitcher of the Week award for Akron this season.
Kyle Hart of Boston’s Portland affiliate was named the league’s Pitcher of the Week.
Photo: David Monseur/Akron RubberDucks