Orioles Player of the Week: Which player stood out the most in an explosive week?

The player of the week was a tight race for the Orioles. Who came out on top?
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles just completed an incredible week, finishing 5-1 with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins and a 2-1 series victory over the up and coming Kansas City Royals. After Colton Cowser easily took home Player of the Week honors last week, it seemed like everyone on the O's had a big week this week.

The Orioles bats exploded for a combined for 40 runs in the six games, providing numerous players to choose from. Cedric Mullins had six hits, including two home runs (one of which was his first career walk-off), five RBI, four runs, two stolen bases and a catch in center field that might be the best catch you'll see all season. Anthony Santander got the day off Monday, but finished the week with eight hits, five of which were for extra bases (four doubles and a homer), four runs, four RBI and an incredible catch in the ninth inning of Game 2 against the Royals.

Gunnar Henderson had four multi-hit games, with 10 total hits this week, including a double and three home runs. He also drove in five runs while scoring five himself. Jordan Westburg nearly stole the show with arguably the best week of all the hitters. He finished 11-23 with five runs, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, eight RBI and a stolen base, all while playing stellar defense at second and third base.

Who wins Orioles Player of the Week? Offense or pitching star?

With all this offense it would be very easy to choose any of those deserving players, but this week it was a pitcher that stood out the most. You might be thinking Craig Kimbrel after he had a perfect week. Kimbrel made three appearances, going 1-0 with two saves, while striking out six and not allowing any opposing hitter to reach base. His second save this week was the 422nd of his career, which tied him with Billy Wagner for seventh all time. Kimbrel is definitely deserving of the Player of the Week award, but even he was outshined.

The player who takes home Player of the Week honors for Week 3 of the 2024 season is Albert Suarez. He may not have had the most impressive week statistically of any Oriole, but his path to the O's is what put him over the top. Suarez, who last pitched in the major leagues on September 26, 2017, was called up to the Orioles at the last minute when Tyler Wells went to the IL with inflammation in his right pitching elbow on April 16, 2024.

Suarez was originally signed in 2006 as a 17-year-old out of Venezuela. He spent parts of eight seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization and two seasons in the Los Angeles Angels farm system before breaking through with the San Francisco Giants in 2016. After two seasons split between the Giants and their minor-league system, Suarez signed a minor-league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018; he sent the entire season in Triple-A. He spent the next five years playing baseball in Venezuela, Japan and Korea, but never gave up on his major league dreams.

On September 15, 2023, almost six years to the day he last pitched in the majors, Suarez signed a minor-league contract with the O's and received an invitation to spring training. Suarez made an impression in spring training, but did not do enough to make the Opening Day roster. He began the season with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides and was ready when he got the call.

Suarez made the trip to Baltimore and gave the Orioles exactly what they had hoped for. He pitched 5.2 innings of three-hit ball against the Minnesota Twins, hitting one batter and walking none while striking out four. His stuff was electric and he left the game to a roaring ovation from the Birdland faithful.

Suarez did enough to get another start, which should come on Monday, April 22, against one of his former teams, the Angels. Having that kind of performance after that journey to the Birds earns Suarez this week's Player of the Week.