Baltimore Orioles Player of the Week: Welcome to the Gunn Show

Gunnar Henderson showed off all five tools this week.
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have one of the best players in baseball in shortstop Gunnar Henderson. The young superstar is a five-tool player, and he put all of those tools on display this past week. The Birds have had the last two AL Players of the Week in Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg, and Henderson gave them a legitimate chance to make it three in a row.

Batting out of the leadoff position all season long, Henderson has been the catalyst for one of the best teams in baseball. He got off to a hot start on Monday, going 2-4 with a single and a triple against Los Angeles Angels LHP Reid Detmers. Henderson scored the Orioles' third run of the game on an Adley Rutschman RBI double in the fifth inning, which turned out to be the decisive run in a 4-2 Orioles victory.

Game 2 of the series did not go as well for the Orioles, but Henderson continued to have a big impact. Henderson only had one hit on the day, but he sure made it count. He blasted a solo home run, his seventh of the season, to right field off of Matt Moore, another left-handed pitcher for the Angels. But Henderson saved his best for last. In Game 3 of the series, Henderson put on a show in all aspects of the game.

He hit for average, going 3-3. He hit for power when he got the scoring started with a homer in the third inning. He showed his speed when he stole his fifth base of the season. He showed great defensive range by getting to a ground ball in the hole off the bat of Taylor Ward, and even better arm strength when he made the throw to first in time to get the speedy runner.

Orioles' Gunnar Henderson was runaway Birds Watcher Player of the Week pick

After taking the series in LA, the Birds returned home for a forgetful series against the Oakland A's. Henderson has been the spark plug for the Orioles all season, and they went as he went against the A's. Henderson went a combined 0-10 and only scored one run in the two games the Orioles dropped to the A's.

In the middle game of the series, Henderson went 2-4 with two runs, two RBI and his third home run of the week. It was, predictably, the only game the O's won in the set.

Overall for the week Henderson went 8-25 (a .320 average) with one double, one triple, three home runs and two stolen bases. The super sophomore is off to a torrid start this season, and is among the MLB leaders in many offensive categories. He's tied for second in home runs (9), tied for ninth in RBI (22), tied for seventh in runs (23), fifth in slugging (.613), eleventh in OPS (.960) and tied for third in triples (3). All of that offense, combined with elite defense at a prime position, has fans and experts putting Henderson squarely in the middle of MVP talks.