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As the Indians swept their way to a winning record, key players for 2016 led the way

For the final time in 2015...

No, Terry Francona was not the Player of the Week, I just wanted a photo that didn't give the winner away. • PHOTO
No, Terry Francona was not the Player of the Week, I just wanted a photo that didn't give the winner away. • PHOTO
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Each week I select someone as the Cleveland Indians' top player of the previous week. Then, because this is a dictatorship, but not a totalitarian one, I let you all have your say as well. Some weeks it's a no-brainer, while other weeks there are multiple guys with a strong case. (Occasionally there are weeks when no one has a strong case.)

Previous winners:

  • April 6-12: Carlos Santana (my choice, and by a single vote, winner of the voting)
  • April 20-26: Brandon Moss (my choice), Michael Brantley (reader vote)
  • May 4-10: Danny Salazar (my choice), Jason Kipnis (reader vote)
  • May 11-17: Corey Kluber (my choice, and by a single vote, winner of the voting)
  • August 3-9: Michael Brantley (my choice), Abraham Almonte (reader vote)

The Indians finished the season on a high note, sweeping Boston to finish with a winning record for the third season in a row. It's not an easy week to single out one player for, but the choices include a couple guys expected to lead the team, and a couple of guys who've done much more than expected.

The Candidates

Abraham Almonte

Almonte hit .348/.400/.435 in 25 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 135, tops on the team among the guy who batted at least a dozen times. His big game was the second one from Wednesday's doubleheader, when Almonte had three hits, including a pair of doubles.

Corey Kluber

Kluber gave up three runs in his first inning of work last week, against the Twins on Monday. He was coming off a couple bad starts, and I wondered if maybe they should just let him call it a season. He recovered instead, allowing only one additional run in another five innings that game, then came out on Saturday and pitched eight shutout innings, with nine strikeouts, giving him a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings on the week.

Francisco Lindor

Lindor hit .222/.300/.481 in a team-high 30 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 114. That's far from his best batting line of the season, but he homered twice, giving him a dozen long balls on the year, and also stole three bases, giving him a dozen of those as well. Additionally, he played more of the top-notch defense I hope we never take for granted.

Roberto Perez

Perez only appeared in two games last week, but he made them count. He had two hits, including a home run, in Thursday's game against the Twins, and in Sunday's season finale he doubled and scored the game-tying run after the Tribe fell behind early. His line for the week was .429/.429/1.000.

The Verdict

I find myself drawn to the two stars, Kluber and Lindor, but it's a very tough call from there. If you eliminate Kluber's 1st inning from Monday, he's the easy choice. If you add a couple hits to Lindor's line, he's the easy choice. Lindor won four of the previous six weeks, and has certainly been the team's best player since he was called up. It's tempting to give him one more... but I think Kluber's final masterpiece of the season is enough to push him over the top for me,

Congratulations, Corey!