Charleston RiverDogs outfielder Shane Sasaki has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week for August 8-14, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday afternoon. Sasaki is the second RiverDogs position player to receive a weekly honor during the 2022 season and third overall. Infielder Willy Vasquez was tabbed in the first week of July, while Austin Vernon was previously named Pitcher of the Week in May.
Sasaki played in all six games last week against the Lynchburg Hillcats. manning the leadoff spot in the lineup in each contest. He went 11-23 (.478) with five doubles, a triple, a home run and five runs batted in. He also stole a base and scored five runs. In a doubleheader on Saturday, Sasaki combined to go 6-8 with four doubles. The native of Hawaii has raised his batting average to .310 this season, ranking second in the circuit among qualified hitters.
The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Sasaki with their third round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Iolani High School in Honolulu. He struggled in his first professional season, batting just .182 with the GCL Rays in 2019. When the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, Sasaki spent the winter playing ball in Australia. That experience paid dividends quickly as he returned to the GCL in 2021 and posted a .290 batting average with eight extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases.
Sasaki and the RiverDogs open a crucial seven-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park on Tuesday night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
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