As many of you have come to learn, I'm a big fan of Cleveland Indians prospects. I've been following these players for years and there's no better feeling than watching them adapt, flourish and improve along the way.
On top of helping out with the daily minor league recaps, I've decided to bring back the Tribe farm system player of the week voting, as decided by you.
Some of the following Tribe prospects will be extremely familiar to you as we had them ranked high on our preseason prospects list, but don't discount some of the unfamiliar names either as they haven't been in the system long and are really starting to get locked in.
Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top performers from the past week (May 8-14):
* * *
Clint Frazier (AA, OF) - .320/.500/.600
The current #2 ranked prospect in the Tribe system, Frazier was all over the place this week in a good way. On top of getting hits in six out of seven games, he also got on base at least twice in six games, setting the table for Akron teammates Nellie Rodriguez and Bradley Zimmer from the top of the batting order. He didn't just get on base, he also managed four extra base hits along the way with two double, a triple and a home run.
Perhaps most promising of all was his strikeout rate, which dropped to 11% on the week while he earned nine walks (26%). Frazier also did the little things, stealing three bases without getting caught and picking up two outfield assists including an impressive gundown at the plate in yesterday's game.
Ka'ai Tom (A, OF) - .381/.480/.476
A fifth round draft pick in last year's 2015 draft, Tom has been on fire since being assigned to Lake County on April 26th. The speedy center fielder out of Hawaii currently leads the team with a .368 batting average after 12 games.
This past week, he was an on base machine for the Captains, reaching safely 12 times in six games from the top of the order. He picked up two doubles and showcased his cannon of an arm from center field, gunning down three players attempting to advance an extra base.
Taylor Murphy (A+ & AA, OF) 12-30, 5 2B, 5 RBI, BB, 6 K (4-11 w/ 2 2B since promoted) .400/.406/.566
An 18th round draft pick in 2014, Murphy has blossomed this year. After batting .341 for Lynchburg through 26 games this season, he was promoted mid-week to Double-A Akron and he didn't miss a beat, going 4-11 with two more doubles for the Rubberducks.
Murphy's plate approach was very aggressive this week, only walking once in 31 plate appearances, but he made solid contact, leading the organization in hits the past seven days with 12. Out of those 12 hits, five were for extra bases and he scored the go-ahead run in yesterday's 12-inning win for Akron.
Bobby Bradley (A+, 1B) - .210/.483/.632
At first glance, it didn't look like LGT #4 prospect Bobby Bradley had a particularly good week. He only picked up four hits and batted .210, but looks can be deceiving. All four of Bradley's hits were for extra bases, with two doubles and two more home runs to bring his season total to an organization-leading nine on the year. Not only that, but he somehow managed nine more runs batted in on those four hits to bring his season total to 38 already (in 33 games).
More impressive than that, he walked a whopping 10 times on the week while continuing to drop his strikeout rate. Bradley's approach at the plate is getting better and better with each week of experience at Advanced A-ball.
Julian Merryweather (A+, RHP) - 0.71 ERA, 12.1 K/9, 1.03 WHIP
Despite having LGT #6 Justus Sheffield pitching very well for the Lynchburg roster, it's been Julian Merryweather who has been the bright spot of the Hillcats rotation thus far in 2016. In seven starts this season, he's only surrendered three earned runs.
Merryweather was on point this week, picking up wins against Potomac and Carolina while striking out 17 batters in 12.2 innings and only surrendering one run. The 24-year old fifth round selection from the 2014 draft is making an extremely strong case for a mid-season call-up to Akron.
Ryan Merritt (AAA, LHP) - 1.20 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 0.93 WHIP
Merritt has had a productive season for Columbus thus far in 2016, pacing the team with a solid 2.60 ERA and doing his best to potentially earn a big league call-up for the fifth starter role while Carlos Carrasco rehabs his hamstring and Cody Anderson continues to struggle.
This past week, Merritt went 1-1 but his one win was a terrific performance, shutting out Lehigh Valley with a complete game four-hitter. Merritt doesn't have huge strikeout stuff and isn't going to drop jaws with his velocity, but he's made up for it by avoiding walks and commanding the strike zone very well.