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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week (8/7-8/13)

Cast your vote!

Sam Haggerty
Sam Haggerty

Giovanny Urshela took the top prize last week, soaking in 43% of the vote thanks in part to an incredible .533 average over six games with nine RBI, but now it's time to move on.

Three top 10 Indians prospects (according to MLB Pipeline) earned a POTW nomination due to some serious slugging, including this year's first round pick Will Benson, who had a huge week at the plate. Also of note, Ryan Merritt is now the most nominated pitcher in 2016 after a very strong pair of starts the past seven days.

Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top performers from the past week (August 7-August 13):

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Will Benson (AZL, OF) - .385/.500/.923

The Cleveland Indians 2016 first round draft pick had a very slow start to his professional career, batting just .190 with a 30% strikeout rate through his first 20 games, but the extremely talented 6'6 athlete seems to have started to figure things out in his second month of play.

The 18-year old is hitting .379 in August, dropping his K-rate to 20% and crushing extra base hits to the tune of an insane .414 ISO. This past week, he played four games, reaching base 50% of the time, hitting two triples and a home run while batting a rock solid .385 and also stealing two bases without getting caught. If Benson can keep anything even close to those rates up moving forward, he's going to be in terrific shape as a future star.

Oscar Gonzalez (AZL, OF) - .500/.563/.857

Oscar Gonzalez got off to an incredibly hot start to his AZL Indians career, hitting three home runs in his first four games to earn a POTW nod back in June. While he's cooled off a little since then, he's still been very consistent at the plate, batting .312 through his first 32 games.

The powerful 18-year old Dominican slugger currently leads the AZL in home runs with eight, and he contributed to that total this past week, going 7-14 at the plate in four games with two doubles and a home run while walking twice and stealing two bases. The Indians signed Gonzalez for $300,000 when he was 16 years old so they have very high hopes for the left fielder.

Sam Haggerty (A, Utility) - .571/.625/.952

A 24th round pick in 2015 out of New Mexico, Sam Haggerty played the super utility role for Lake County this season, playing games at second base, shortstop, third base and left field. He's had more responsibility this past month after a majority of the top prospects for Lake County were all promoted to High-A Lynchburg and he really came through for the team this past week.

Haggerty isn't having the best season offensively, but he was an absolute monster this past week, collecting 12 hits in six games, including a monster 4-5 game on August 11th. Despite playing in a full season league, he raised his batting average 28 points overall this past week with two doubles, two home runs, eight runs scored, six RBI and two stolen bases.

Bobby Bradley (A+, 1B) - .333/.360/.708

Bobby Bradley was very consistent this past week, from Tuesday on, the 2014 third round draft pick collected at least one hit in each game, with three multi-hit games. Bradley also overtook Jesus Aguilar as the top home run hitter in the Indians farm system by hammering two out of the park this week, one on Friday and one on Saturday (he also hit one yesterday but that counts towards next week).

Strikeouts will always be an issue with Bradley, and he struck out eight times this past week in 25 plate appearances (32%), but the good news is he's very slightly down overall from his 2015 season while raising his walk rate by 1.6%. Bradley is certainly a work in progress, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the left-handed bomber handles Double-A next season.

Francisco Mejia (A+, C) - .461/.500/.692

Francisco Mejia has been the toast of the minor leagues this season, and this past week saw the final game of his incredible 50-game hitting streak. The 20-year old switch-hitting Dominican catcher only played three games this past week due to battling some stomach illness, but he made them count, going 6-13 with three doubles and a rare walk.

Mejia also threw out one out of the two baserunners who attempted to steal on him this week, showcasing his cannon arm from behind the plate. I, for one, am incredibly thankful he's still a part of the Indians farm system after the Lucroy trade veto fiasco.

Ryan Merritt (AAA, LHP) - 1.20 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 0.93 WHIP

Ryan Merritt was a monster innings eater this past week, soaking up 15 in his two starts for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday and Friday. The second start in particular was phenomenal, tossing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 game which had no margin for error. In his first start on Sunday, he gave up two earned runs over eight innings of work in a 14-5 victory.

Merritt is the first pitcher in the Indians system to earn three POTW nominations, and he definitely deserved it this week. His strikeouts were through the roof, whiffing 14 batters in 15 innings and he only walked one. The 2014 Cleveland Indians Bob Feller award winner is having an excellent season and could provide some help for the club out of the bullpen in September if they need it.

Erik Gonzalez (AAA, SS) - .421/.500/1.286

Erik Gonzalez must have been upset about getting sent back to Columbus because he might have had the biggest, most insane week of any player in the history of my record-keeping for this weekly article.

The 24-year old shortstop blasted four home runs and hit five doubles out of his 10 hits this week, putting up an absolutely bananas 1.786 OPS. Oh yeah, and he did all of that in just five games. To put that in perspective, the Cleveland Indians catching duo of Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez don't have four home runs and five doubles yet combined on the entire 2016 SEASON.

Give this man all your votes!

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Previous Winners

Giovanny Urshela (43%) - Week of 7/31-8/6
Anthony Santander (31%) - Week of 7/24-7/30
Yandy Diaz (74%) - Week of 7/17-7/23
Juan Hillman (38%) - Week of 7/10-7/16
Triston McKenzie (63%) - Week of 7/3-7/9
Francisco Mejia (41%) - Week of 6/26-7/2
Argenis Angulo (69%) - Week of 6/19-6/25
Taylor Murphy (47%) - Week of 6/12-6/18
Francisco Mejia (71%) - Week of 6/5-6/11
Brock Hartson (64%) - Week of 5/29-6/4
Nathan Lukes (60%) - Week of 5/22-5/28 (goodbye)
Clint Frazier (89%) - Week of 5/15-5/21
Ryan Merritt (52%) - Week of 5/14-5/20

Most Nominations

Francisco Mejia - 5
Anthony Santander - 4
Greg Allen - 3
Tyler Krieger - 3
Bradley Zimmer - 3
Yandy Diaz - 3
Bobby Bradley - 3
Ryan Merritt - 3