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Weeks finding ways to get on base

July 7, 2010

MILWAUKEE — Rickie Weeks may not be your prototypical leadoff hitter, but at least one statistic shows that he’s doing what a leadoff hitter should do, and that’s getting on base.

Weeks entered Wednesday hitting .270 on the season and had an on-base percentage of .369, nearly 70 points behind Justin Morneau, who leads the Majors. But Weeks was only four behind Morneau in total times on base, another category led by the Twins first baseman.

Out of a Major League-leading 391 plate appearances, Weeks had been on base 144 times, compared to 148 times for Morneau and Albert Pujols and 145 times for Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder.

Even more impressive is the fact that Weeks has done it without the benefit of the walks drawn by the three sluggers. Pujols led the league with 56, while Fielder was three behind him at 53 and Morneau was seventh with 49.

Weeks has just 39 walks, though his 15 times hit by pitch lead the Majors.

“He’s a unique leadoff hitter,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “He’s got the leadoff home runs, and he still gets on base.”

Weeks, along with right fielder Corey Hart, provide as much power out of the top two spots in the lineup as you’ll find in the Majors.

With 14 home runs and 50 RBIs, Weeks leads the Majors in both categories among leadoff hitters. Hart, who was named Sunday to his second All-Star Game, leads the Majors in home runs (16) and RBIs (49) since May 15.

“I don’t know if we would be 1-2 in most lineups, but we are in this lineup,” Hart said last month following a game in which he and Weeks combined to go 6-for-9 with two runs and three RBIs. “We try to get on base for the guys behind us. It’s nice to drive in runs as well, but I think our goal is to get on as much as we can for Prince and [Ryan Braun].”

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