Rising Apple Player of the Week: Scott Hairston

By Matt Musico

The Rising Apple staff chooses one player to highlight on our site for their outstanding or unique performance for the last week. If  you have a nomination on who should be crowned as the Rising Apple Player of the Week, please let us know! You can leave us a comment, tweet us (@RisingAppleBlog) or make a comment on Facebook.

Scott Hairston‘s name has been in the news quite a bit over the last week or two. Once Sandy Alderson said he was willing to listen on potential trade offers on either Tim Byrdak or his right-handed hitting outfielder, some teams made public inquiries.

Alas, no deal was done and Hairston remained a Met, which he said he is “kind of” glad about. There’s no doubt that Terry Collins and Mets fans are thrilled that he’s still with the Amazins, putting together a solid all around week, earning himself his first Rising Apple Player of the Week award.

With the trade deadline coming and going this past Tuesday, it has to be weighing heavily on a player’s mind when they could be dealt at any minute, but Hairston made it look as if it was the furthest thing from his mind, hitting .454 during that time. He’s enjoyed four multi-hit games and is currently riding a four-game hit streak as well.

He’s done a little bit of everything recently, hitting two home runs, driving in seven runs, and scoring seven times himself, and it seems like every time he gets a hit, it comes in a big situation. Hairston has taken over the clean up spot behind David Wright when he’s in the lineup, and it’s proved fruitful, as he hit the decisive double that drove in two runs last week again the Diamondbacks, hit two home runs Monday night, one coming in the 10th inning to break a tie, and scored three runs yesterday afternoon to help contribute to the blowout win.

To go along with his nice stats, he’s been able to give some much needed balance to a Mets lineup that is dominated by left handers. Outside of Jason Bay, he’s the only other right-handed hitting outfielder Collins has to use, and if you want to talk about productive right-handed outfielders, he’s the main contributor. With Hairston hitting behind Wright, he gives David some extra protection against lefties that he wouldn’t normally have if someone like Ike Davis was hitting behind him.

After a great month of May (.300/.352/.640), he struggled a bit in June (.227/.271/.470), but came back to have his most powerful month of the season. In July, Hairston slugged four homers, six doubles, and one triple; those 11 extra-base hits are the highest total out of any month of the season, and his 13 RBI is the most in a month since May. So, the outfielder is heating up at the right time, and with the return of Mike Baxter, the two of them could make a pretty lethal platoon in left field if this Jason Bay thing doesn’t work out and the front office decides action needs to be taken.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Harvey deserves a shout out, as he’s now struck out 18 hitters in his first 11.1 innings in the Major Leagues. Oh, and his ERA after two starts is still under 2.00. R.A. Dickey won his league-leading 14th game of the season this week, and is going for number 15 tonight. Also, can’t forget to not give love to Ruben Tejada, who hit his first home run in 629 at-bats Wednesday.