Blackmon's hot start earns NL POW recognition

Blackmon's hot start earns NL POW recognition

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon is the National League Player of the Week for the second time in the last three weeks of baseball.

Blackmon earned the award last Sept. 22, and on Monday, his .542 batting average for the first week of this season earned him a share of the award with Marlins right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez.

"I think I got really hot in the right calendar week -- there are a lot of great players in this league, and you can't expect to consistently do things like this," Blackmon said. "For that to happen, it's a little luck. First week of the season, people are trying to get their kinks out."

Blackmon's 6-for-6 in the Rockies' home-opening 12-2 victory over the D-backs on Friday was the earliest such a feat has been accomplished since the Phillies' Connie Ryan went 6-for-6 in the third game of 1952. He also had nine hits in two days to tie Juan Pierre's 2002 club record.

For Blackmon, who has spent parts of three seasons in the Majors and truly grabbed big league footing late last season, being a part of the Opening Day roster -- he started that day, in a loss to Fernandez and the Marlins -- has given him a shot of confidence.

"It's completely different," Blackmon said. "Being here from the start, the team saying, 'Hey, we want you on the team. We think you're going to help us win. You're one of our guys.' As opposed to in the past -- I'm sure this isn't how they felt, and they weren't trying to say this, but in my mind, I wasn't good enough to make the team out of camp. You're thinking, I don't want anybody to get hurt, but is that going to be the only way I get promoted?"

Blackmon and fellow left-handed Corey Dickerson competed for starts in center field, but manager Walt Weiss leaned toward Blackmon the whole time because of his strong finish to last season. Now, Blackmon is taking advantage of his chance to start. Dickerson had just six plate appearances off the bench and on Monday was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.