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Cleveland Indians minor league weekly review and daily updates (July 20-26)

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What's happening down on the farm? A weekly guide to the Tribe's 2015 farm system, incorporating daily roster and game updates in the comments.

Josh Tomlin, who is scheduled to start for the Clippers tonight after three rehab starts in the lower minors
Josh Tomlin, who is scheduled to start for the Clippers tonight after three rehab starts in the lower minors
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It was yet another poor week for the affiliates. The RubberDucks were the only stateside team to register a winning record and only they and the Clippers are over .500 on the season. Individually, however, there were some fine performances, with Clint Frazier hitting a rich vein of form and Bradley Zimmer taking to AA like a rubberduck to water.

Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 52-43 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 50-45 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 43-51 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County Captains: 44-47 (individual 2015 stats)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 10-18 (individual 2015 stats)
Arizona Indians: 9-14 (individual 2015 stats)
DSL Indians: 19-23 (individual 2015 stats)

Angling for Position Players

Columbus (AAA)

The Clippers only played four games last week due to the All-Star break, and there wasn't really time for much in the way of outstanding offensive weekly performances, although Jerry Sands did hit his 14th HR (tied with Bobby Bradley for the Tribe MiLB lead).

Akron (AA)

It was the Bradley Zimmer show in Akron. Having been promoted on Monday, he had to wait until Thursday to make his debut due to the All-Star break, but promptly reached base at least twice in all four of his games, including two doubles and a homer.

Zimmer's arrival seemed to galvanize the Ducks offense into a terrific week, as they scored 28 runs in their four games.

Lynchburg (A+)

Now that he is no longer in Zimmer's shadow, Clint Frazier seems to have begun to thrive. After a slow start to the season, he is now hitting a highly respectable .271/.361/.423, having brought his strikeout rate down from nearly 30% in 2014 to around 23% this year. He is now very much on track for a promotion to Akron next year.

After two and a half years with the Captains, Dorssys Paulino was promoted to Zimmer’s vacated OF spot. Although Paulino is only 20, he was hitting just .256/.319/.364 on the year, so still has a lot to prove now that he is playing LF rather than SS. Greg Allen is arguably the better OF prospect, but he is blocked by Frazier from a promotion to the Hillcats CF spot.

Lake County (A)

After a mini-slump recently, the 19yo Bobby Bradley returned to form with eight hits including two doubles and his 14th HR of the season. Encouragingly, top prospects Francisco Mejia and Yu-Cheng Chang also showed signs that they might be emerging from the doldrums with six hits each, including two doubles and a homer apiece, with Chang (who has been struggling to re-establish himself after suffering a concussion on a HBP) also adding a triple.

State of the Rotation

Columbus (AAA)

It was a pretty good week for the Clippers rotation, with both Toru Murata and Will Roberts pitching seven scoreless innings. After a poor start to the season with the RubberDucks (22 runs conceded in just six starts), the 24yo Roberts has been a revelation since (19 runs allowed in 12 starts split between AA and AAA). He's not striking out many hitters, but his "pitch to contact" approach is obviously proving highly effective in the high minors.

Akron (AA)

With Jordan Cooper on the DL, former D-back Charles Brewer has stepped very comfortably into the breach and is yet to concede an earned run in two starts (9 IP). Adam Plutko was the odd man out last week, as only four pitchers were required for the All-Star break shortened week.

Lynchburg (A+)

At the start of the year, all the talk was about how Mitch Brown and Luis Lugo would fare in the Hillcats rotation. However, neither has performed with any distinction and over the last six weeks the unheralded D.J. Brown and Michael Peoples have emerged as by far the more reliable options.

Lake County (A)

Like Michael Peoples, Jordan Milbrath has completely turned his season around in recent weeks. Over his last three starts he has conceded just one run in 19 IP. Top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield isn't producing the overall results that one would like, but he's still striking out guys at a terrific clip.

Writing 'pen

Columbus (AAA)

The Columbus bullpen continues to excel, led by closer Shawn Armstrong who hasn't conceded a run since June 8 (17 IP). Right now, Armstrong (who is already on the 40-man) seems like a lock for a September call-up (if not before).

Lefty Giovanni Soto has also been doing a terrific job this year and might get a chance in the bigs if/when Scrabble or Crockett falter. And of course, there is also C.C. Lee, who has also been pitching very well over the last month.

Akron (AA)

Closer Jeff Johnson continues to impress — he hasn't given up a run since June 12, an 11.1 IP stretch during which he has allowed just one hit. The previously very dependable Josh Martin hasn't been so effective of late, giving up four earned runs in his last five appearances.

Lynchburg (A+)

Having spent an extended period on the DL, Trevor Frank finally made his Lynchburg debut. He was superb a Lake County last year (62 SO in 54.2 IP with a 2.63 ERA/0.90 WHIP), but is already 24 so hopefully he'll be in the high minors before too long. Certainly neither of his main rivals, Justin Brantley and J.P. Feyereisen, have been tearing up any trees of late.

Lake County (A)

Cameron Hill (1.40 ERA/0.93 ERA) and Justin Garcia (1.45/1.06) continue to spearhead a terrific Captains bullpen.

Minor league players of the week (as voted by LGT)

Week 1 (Apr 9-19): Bradley Zimmer (72% of the vote)

Week 2 (Apr 20-26): Dace Kime (33%)

Week 3 (Apr 27-May 3): Tyler Naquin (76%)

Week 4 (May 4-10): Shaun Marcum (45%)

Week 5 (May 11-17): Francisco Lindor (51%)

Week 6 (May 18-24): Bradley Zimmer (42%; the only repeat winner to date)

Week 7 (May 25-31): Cody Anderson (36%)

Week 8 (June 1-7): Nellie Rodriguez (45%)

Week 9 (June 8-14): Bobby Bradley (76%)

Week 10 (June 15-21): Ronny Rodriguez (46%)

Week 11 (June 22-28): Greg Allen (27%)

Week 12 (June 29-July 5): Jose Ramirez (51%)

Week 13 (July 6-12): Ryan Merritt (35%)

Related articles

Tribe minor league weekly review/updates: Apr 9-19 (season preview), Apr 20-26, Apr 27-May 3, May 4-10, May 11-17, May 18-24, May 25-31, June 1-7, June 8-14, June 15-21, June 22-28, June 29-July 5, July 6-12, July 13-19

Mahoning Valley Scrappers season preview

Arizona League Indians season preview

LGT community top 20 prospects

"Fringe five" and other intriguing prospects

Dark horses on the farm — the hitters

Dark horses on the farm — the pitchers

2015 prospect write-ups: Bradley ZimmerMichael ClevingerBobby Bradley/Yu-Cheng Chang/Francisco Mejia/Justus Sheffield, Giovanni Soto