He’s not exactly a prospect, but veteran Triple-A catcher Erik Kratz ran away with the voting last week after slugging 1.500 over an insane stretch of short sample size games.
This time around, several more role players and a few familiar names stepped up to the plate as we have six brand new candidates spread across four levels in the Indians farm system.
Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top minor league performers from the past week:
Logan Ice (A, C) - .346/.433/.423
A second round compensatory pick in last year’s MLB draft, Logan Ice really struggled in his first season of professional ball while playing at Low-A Mahoning Valley with splits of .198/.329/.302.
Whatever issues he has last year, he’s put them all behind him now as the 21-year old catcher has risen to the occasion at Single-A Lake County, getting on base over 40 percent of the time and quickly moving himself to a prominent position near the top of the Captain’s batting order.
This past week, Lake County really struggled, going 1-6 and having some seriously ugly games offensively, but Ice was the lone bright spot, racking up nine hits including two doubles, three walks and a hit by pitch to reach base at a .433 clip. He also gunned down one would-be basestealer on defense.
Shao-Ching Chiang (A+, RHP) - 0.00 ERA, 3.9 K/9, 0.57 WHIP
Signed out of Taiwan in 2012, Shao-Ching Chiang has been a slowly-developing starter who appears to finally be hitting his groove.
The 23-year old right-hander nearly led all Indians full-season starters in innings last year due to his propensity to pitch to contact, and he’s right on track to be among the top inning-eaters in 2017 as well.
Chiang only had one start this past week, but it was a great one, and it could have been even better if his defense had bailed him out. Facing his last batter of the day with two outs in the seventh inning, Chiang forced a swing and a miss for strike three, but his catcher dropped the ball and allowed the hitter to reach first base. Chiang promptly allowed a home run to the next slugger, both runs unearned, before striking out another batter to end his outing.
His final line was seven innings, no earned runs, three hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Thus far his season, he has a 0.93 ERA through his first three starts combined.
When Chiang’s sinker is working and his defense is doing their thing, he’s going to be a pitcher who can consistently reach seven innings or more despite being on a pitch count.
Sam Haggerty (A+, Util) - .400/.500/.867
Typecast as a role player, Sam Haggerty has really broken out in 2017 with a very strong start to his season.
The utility infielder has been bumped up to the leadoff position for High-A Lynchburg, where he’s been a triples machine, currently leading all of minor league baseball with five already this year.
Haggerty had a very strong week despite only playing in four games, racking up two more triples and three doubles while also walking three times and stealing two bases to help himself score a whopping nine runs. Talk about setting up the table!
If he can sustain this even a little bit, the 2015 24th round pick might see himself climbing up the prospect rankings in a hurry.
Joe Sever (AA, 3B) - .529/.529/.705
A 21st round pick back in 2012, Joe Sever has done just enough to keep getting pushed upwards through the Tribe system. Sever isn’t going to light the world on fire with his power, but he makes decent contact.
On an Akron team that features a plethora of the Tribe’s top prospects, Sever has quietly put up some very good numbers in his repeat season for Double-A.
This past week, Sever recorded a hit in all four games he played, including three multi-hit games (two of them three-hit games). He didn’t record a walk or hit one out of the park, but three doubles and two stolen bases allowed him to record one of the best weeks out of all Tribe minor league hitters.
Tyler Naquin (AA, OF) - .400/.444/.600
After coming up third in 2016’s Rookie of the Year voting, one wouldn’t blame Tyler Naquin for pouting when he was sent back down to the minors last week, but he’s done the exact opposite.
Naquin has recorded a hit in all 11 games he’s played for Columbus thus far, and he was particularly impressive this past week, racking up two doubles and his first home run of the season while only striking out three times and walking twice.
Needless to say, if an injury occurs, Naquin appears more than ready to get back to business in the big leagues.
Richie Shaffer (AAA, 3B/OF) - .333/.545/.800
Richie Shaffer impressed many during his stint with the Indians in 2017 Spring Training, more than enough to earn an opportunity to play for Triple-A Columbus to start the season.
This past week, the 26-year old former Tampa Bay first round draft pick slugged two home runs and a double while earning a whopping seven walks spread over five games to help pace Columbus offensively.
Shaffer is currently leading the Clippers on the season in home runs (4), RBI (13) and walks (16). If he keeps playing his cards right, he could be back in the big leagues sooner rather than later, whether it’s with the Indians or someone else.
Who was your minor league player of the week inthe Tribe system?
This poll is closed
Sam Haggerty (A+ - 4G, 7-17 for .411, 5 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 SB)
Ka'ai Tom (A+ - 6G, 9-19 for .474, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 6 BB, 2 K, 2 SB)
Thomas Pannone (A+ - 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)
Triston McKenzie (A+ - 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)
Yandy Diaz (AAA - 6 G, 9-20 for .450, 2B, HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 1 K)
Erik Gonzalez (AAA - 6 G, 11-27 for .407, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB, 6 K, SB)
Conner Capel (35%) - (Week of 4/6-4/13)
Erik Kratz (31%) - (Week of 4/14-4/20)