TinCaps third baseman Carlos Belen has been named the Midwest League Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. The award is selected by MiLB.com’s staff.
Belen, a 20-year old from the Dominican Republic, hit .400 (10-for-25) over the past week with three home runs, six RBIs and a trio of multi-hit games. Belen ranks tied for sixth in all of Single-A (100 teams) with 19 total bases over the stretch.
“It feels good to be honored,” Belen said. “But I’m just focused on continuing to get better.”
Belen leads the TinCaps in doubles (22), triples (7) and extra-base hits (39) this season.
“Any time one of your players gets an award, there’s a sense of pride,” TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said. “With Carlos, as a young player, he’s had his highs and lows, but it’s great to see how he’s picked himself up from those struggles that you’re going to have in this game. Right now we just hope he can keep riding the wave as long as it lasts.”
On Monday against Lansing, Belen’s two-run home run gave the TinCaps a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. The next day against the Lugnuts, Belen started a late TinCaps rally with an eighth-inning solo shot, as Fort Wayne forced extra innings. At home on Friday against Bowling Green, Belen sparked the TinCaps’ offensive outburst with a two-run blast in the second inning.
The Padres signed the 6-foot, 213-pound third baseman out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican in July 2012.
Belen is the third TinCap to be named Midwest League Player of the Week in 2016. Catcher Austin Allen (April 7-17) and Jhonatan Peña (June 23-26) also have received the distinction.
Belen and the TinCaps open a four-game road series with the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Fort Wayne returns to Parkview Field on Friday night for a three-game set against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers).