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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week (5/29-6/4)

Who were the top Tribe prospect performers the past seven days?

Mark Olson/

Unheralded 2015 draftee Nathan Lukes picked up a whopping 600 votes to walk away with last Sunday's Tribe minor league player of the week, but he will not be repeating this time around.

In fact, no one will have a chance to repeat because all six nominees this week are appearing for the first time.

Tribe affiliates had a pretty good week, going a combined 15-12 and there were several standout players overall.

Some of the following Tribe farmhands 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 may be working their way onto next season's lists.

Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top performers from the past week (May 29-June 4):

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Yu-Cheng Chang (A+, SS) - .364/.481/.773

Perhaps the best kept secret in the Tribe organization, Yu-Cheng Chang had a terrific week. The 20-year old Taiwanese player collected five extra base hits including two triples and a home run while walking five times and only striking out twice.

Chang is now top five in the Carolina League in doubles (14), home runs (7) and is even ahead of top slugging prospect Bobby Bradley in OPS (.856). It appears any ill-affects of his two 2015 trips to the disabled list are now far in his rear view mirror.

Sicnarf Loopstock (A+, C) - .461/.588/.923

Loopstock was all over the place this past week, and not just offensively. In four games, he was used twice as a catcher, once as DH and once in left field. Loopstock only made 17 plate appearances in those four games, but he made each and every one of them count, reaching safely a whopping 10 times including three doubles and a home run.

Loopstock has been used sparingly due to the emergence of Daniel Salters, but he's making it increasingly more difficult to sit him as he's raised his batting average 36 points this week to a solid .278 on the season.

The catcher has wheels too, stealing seven bases this season while only being caught once.

Ronny Rodriguez (AAA, 2B) - .400/.423/.440

Rodriguez led the Tribe farm system in hits this past week, collecting 10 in 25 at bats including a ridiculous five-hit performance in an extra innings affair. Only one of those hits was for extra bases (a double) and he only walked once, but Rodriguez has been a big spark plug for the Clippers offense this season.

The utility man has the second best batting average out of the everyday players on the Columbus roster and he's near the team lead in doubles (10), triples (3), RBI (25) and runs (24). The youngster just turned 24 and it appears he's turned the corner after being stuck at Double-A Akron for three seasons.

Rob Kaminsky (AA, LHP) - 1.23 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 0.68 WHIP

Perhaps we were too quick to write Rob Kaminsky off. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Brandon Moss trade last year, Kaminsky didn't get off to the best start for Akron this season, but he's settled down, especially after returning from the disabled list this week.

It wasn't just the pitching that looked good, he also can field the position quite well:

Kaminsky was on a pitch count in both starts this week, but he made the most of them, allowing only one run in both appearances combined, including a spectacular one-hit performance yesterday while pitching five shutout innings and failing to walk a batter. Hopefully, a sign of things to come was the fact that his strikeout rate rose as well..

Brock Hartson (A, LHP) - 0.00 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 0.77 WHIP

Brock Hartson has primarily been used in long relief this season, but he was terrific this week, filling in for two starters and providing 5+ innings of scoreless relief both times.

Hartson put out a fire on Sunday, going 5.2 innings in a losing effort, then topped himself on Saturday, striking out six while pitching another five shutout innings to pick up the win in an extra inning battle.

With his strong recent showings, Hartson's season ERA dropped to 2.59 and his WHIP sits at a comfortable 1.06. The 21st round 2015 draft pick gives his team a chance to win every time he spells a struggling starter.

Matt Esparza (A, RHP) - 0.77 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 0.60 WHIP

Esparza had a week he'll never soon forget, capped off by the best minor league pitching performance of his career yesterday where he struck out 10 batters in just six innings of one-hit shutout ball. You can view his final effortless strikeout below:

Esparza's start on Monday was also excellent, lasting 5.2 innings while giving up one run. His ERA is inflated this season due to giving up nine runs in his season debut, but he hasn't given up more than three in a start ever since. Esparza is only one strikeout behind Sam Hentges for the 2016 team lead (61).

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Previous Winners

Nathan Lukes (60%) - Week of 5/22-5/28
Clint Frazier (89%) - Week of 5/15-5/21
Ryan Merritt (52%) - Week of 5/14-5/20

Most Nominations

Clint Frazier - 2
Ka'ai Tom - 2
Shawn Mormando - 2