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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week (8/21-8/27)

Cast your vote!

Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

Tyler Krieger took home a well-deserved POTW award last week with a whopping 64% of the vote following a week where he batted a ridiculous .600 at the plate, but now it's time for some new nominees.

This week's list includes a nice combination of several of the organizations top overall pitching prospects as well as some players people have been sleeping on all season who have been stepping up their game and raising their stock in a huge way. There's even a recent minor league free agent acquisition in the mix.

Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top performers from the past week (August 21-August 27):

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Brady AIken (A-, LHP) - 1.80 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 0.70 WHIP

It's a great sign to see Brady Aiken's name in this list. The former first overall pick in 2014 and the Indians first round pick in 2015 got off to a very slow start this season in his first taste of professional baseball following his Tommy John surgery. Despite his poor performance in the AZL (8 GS, 7.13 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, .302 AVG), he was promoted to Low-A Mahoning Valley and has quickly turned things around.

After a rough first start for the Scrappers, Aiken has had three excellent starts in a row, lasting five innings each time and giving up one run in each start. This past week, he was downright dominant in his two starts, giving up two runs combined on six hits, walking just one batter and striking out 11 in 10 innings of work. It's definitely time to back away from the panic button with Aiken as he continues his progress in TJ recovery. This kid is going to be just fine.

Andrew Calica (A-/A, OF) - .524/.556/.857

You're probably getting sick of seeing Andrew Calica's name here, but he just can't stop hitting the damn baseball. Calica has now been nominated for POTW four times and has only been playing baseball for eight weeks. The 22-year old UC Santa Barbara alum has showcased an incredibly advanced bat since debuting on July 6th in the Indians organization following his selection in the 11th round of the 2016 amateur draft..

Calica earned a much deserved promotion to full season Lake County and made a huge impact in his first game with the Captains, going 4-4 at the plate to help lead the team to a victory. Calica had two doubles, a triple and a home run this week, knocking in seven runs while scoring five and stealing two bases. He's also been showcasing his inner Brandon Guyer, getting hit by three pitches this week to raise his season total to 15 already (in just 43 games).

Triston McKenzie (A, RHP) - 0.00 ERA, 13.1 K/9, 0.77 WHIP

This is how good Triston McKenzie has been this season, he's pitched two times in the same week three times this season, and was nominated for Player of the Week each time.

McKenzie has been a revelation in the Tribe farm system, and he hasn't stopped embarrassing hitters despite being promoted to full season Lake County earlier this month. The lanky 19-year old gave up a few more runs than usual after being promoted (three each in his first three starts) but has since completely shut down the opposition.

This past week, McKenzie pitched 11.2 innings of scoreless baseball over two starts, striking out 17 batters and walking three and giving up six total hits. To show you how nasty McKenzie has been this year, here's a great tweet from Todd Paquette:

And that's despite McKenzie being on a pitch count

Anthony Santander (A+, OF) - .417/.423/.667

You have to be having one hell of a season offensively to tie 50-game hitting streak catching prospect Francisco Mejia for most POTW nominations, but Anthony Santander has done just that. The talented 21-year old Venezuelan is top five in the Carolina League in batting average (.296, 5th), doubles (41, 1st), home runs (19, 3rd), RBI (92, 2nd) and slugging (.501, 2nd). You could definitely argue he deserved the MVP award over teammate Bobby Bradley, who took home the crown.

This past week, Santander padded his stats with 10 hits in six games including six more doubles. He had a downright nasty game on August 25th, going 4-4 at the plate with three doubles. He had better be on the prospect radar when everything is reset at the beginning of next year.

Dorssys Paulino (A+, OF) - .524/.524/1.000

Once one of the top prospects in the entire Cleveland organization, Dorssys Paulino's stock dropped drastically when he stalled out at single A Lake County for three seasons and transitioned from the infield to a corner outfield position, where his offensive numbers had less value.

He was promoted to High-A Lynchburg last season without deserving it, but immediately started hitting the ball again, batting .305 with a .516 slugging percentage in 43 games. He started off slow this season and then spent a significant amount of time on the disabled list, but he's been downright nasty since returning to action.

Since being activated on August 2nd, Paulino has batted .391 with a 1.102 OPS. He was downright disgusting this past week over five games, collecting 11 hits in 21 at bats with two doubles, a triple and two home runs.

Despite being in the Indians organization since 2012 (when he led all minor leaguers in batting), one must remember Paulino is still just 21 years old. There may be hope for him yet.

Shawn Haviland (AAA, RHP) - 1.32 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 0.66 WHIP

When the Indians traded away six players at the deadline, they needed what some people call "organization fillers" to step in and replace them so the cogs in the minor league system could keep turning. Shawn Haviland was one of those players. A 30-year old former 33rd round draft pick by Oakland in 2008, Haviland hadn't even played professional ball this year when the Indians signed him on August 5th.

In his five starts with Triple-A Columbus, Haviland has given up one run or less in four of them and he was downright brilliant this past week. He had two starts, lasting six innings and 7.2 innings respectively, giving up one run in each while striking out 12 and walking just one. He may be an organization filler, but Haviland has been spectacular thus far and it's great to see a veteran really kick it into gear with an opportunity like this. With the Indians starting pitching struggles of late, he might even earn a cup of coffee in September to give the rotation some extra rest down the playoff stretch.

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Previous Winners

Tyler Krieger (64%) - Week of 8/14-8/20
Ryan Merritt (32%) - Week of 8/7-8/13
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 (farewell)
Ryan Merritt (52%) - Week of 5/14-5/20

Most Nominations

Francisco Mejia - 5
Anthony Santander - 5
Tyler Krieger - 4
Andrew Calica - 4
Greg Allen - 3
Bradley Zimmer - 3
Yandy Diaz - 3
Bobby Bradley - 3
Ryan Merritt - 3
Matt Esparza - 3
Triston McKenzie - 3