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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week: May 26 - June 1

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

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It was a close contest last week, but Connor Marabell won the polling for player of the week after a strong offensive showing between both High-A and Triple-A with 34 percent of the vote.

This week might have overall the best six combined performances we’ve been graced with this season as two pitchers threw eight dominant innings while four hitters all batted .400 or better, and one of them had numbers which will literally drop your jaw.

Without further ado, here are the Tribe's top minor league performers from the past week:

* * *

Conner Capel (A, OF) - .400/.516/1.000

At just 20 years old, Capel was the only prep player from the Indians 2016 draft to make a full-season club to begin the season, and while the batting average hasn’t been very good (.212), he is hitting balls out of the park at a prodigious rate.

Despite being on average three years younger than his contemporaries, Capel has become a major power threat with over half of his 36 base hits going for extra bases. Thus far this season, he’s socked doubles, three triples and most impressively, nine home runs, which is good for second in the entire Indians minor league organization thus far this year.

Capel has been on a tear, hitting eight home runs in his last 14 games. This past week he had a double, a triple and four home runs while also walking six times and stealing a base. Rumble, young man, rumble!

Sicnarf Loopstok (A+, 1B/C) - .500/.707/.625

More known for his memorable name (His father “Francis” spelled backwards) than his gameplay, Sicnarf Loopstok has experienced a bit of a breakout season in High-A Lynchburg.

The 24-year old reached base safely an insane 71 percent of the time this past week thanks in part to batting .500 while accumulating eight walks and three hit by pitches, all in just five games.

He didn’t hit for much power this week with just two doubles in his eight hits, but he was able to turn seven of those base appearances into runs while also stealing two bases, something you don’t often see from a first baseman/catcher.

Matt Esparza (AA, RHP) - 1.13 ERA, 11.3 K/9, 0.50 WHIP

New level? No problem!

Matt Esparza was promoted from High-A Lynchburg to Double-A Akron this past week and not only did he pitch well in his debut for the RubberDucks, he was flat out dominant.

Despite facing the toughest opposition he’s ever toed the rubber against, Esparza tossed a career-high eight innings while striking out 10 batters, good for second best in his career. He did all this while allowing just three hits, walking zero batters and allowing just one run to score to earn the victory.

Esparza led all Indians full-season pitchers in strikeouts last year, and while he’s not on pace to repeat that feat, it’s good to see he can still pull out double-digit strikeout performances at will.

Francisco Mejia (AA, C) - .476/.500/.524

Long time, no see!

Mejia was hampered by an injured groin in the opening month of the season and struggled briefly at the plate but it appears everything is back to normal for the Indians top offensive prospect, who is leading all Tribe minor leaguers with .331 batting average this season.

The talented young catcher went 10-21 at the plate this past week with a double, striking out just twice while walking once and scoring four runs. He also stole a base and picked off yet another runner at first base with his cannon arm.

Julian Merryweather (AAA, RHP) - 0.00 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 0.50 WHIP

While some may consider him old for a prospect (25), Julian Merryweather is quickly becoming one of the Indians most intriguing arms.

Standing 6’4 and throwing upwards of 97 mph conisistently and with control, Merryweather was very sharp as the ace of the Akron rotation in Double-A, earning a promotion to Triple-A this week where he faced off against one of the scariest offenses in all of the minor leagues.

So how did the 2014 fifth-rounder respond? He only pitched eight shutout innings, giving up four hits while walking zero and striking out eight. Two of those whiffs were against top 25 overall MLB prospects Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres. Not bad for his Triple-A debut!

Eric Stamets (AAA, SS) - .846/.876/2.308

Where did this come from?

Acquired from the Angels in the David Murphy trade, Eric Stamets began the season in Columbus, but he was demoted after only picking up one hit in his first 14 games played combined.

But then something clicked, Stamets started racking up extra base hits, quickly earning a promotion back to Columbus after batting over .400 when Erik Gonzalez was moved to the Indians.

This past week, Stamets only played in four games, but they were four downright unbelievable games. In 16 plate appearances, he tallied 11 hits, two walks and a hit by pitch.

Four of those hits were doubles while FIVE were home runs! Yes, the number next to his name is real, his slugging percentage this week was 2.308! Most players would win POTW honors if they slugged 13 of that. I’m sorry, but if you don’t vote for Eric Stamets this week, something is wrong with your brain. This was a performance we might never see replicated ever again.

Poll

Who was your minor league player of the week in the Tribe system?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Conner Capel (A - 7G, 10-25 for .400, 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 7 R, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 5 SO, SB)
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Sicnarf Loopstok (A+ - 5G, 8-16 for .500, 2 2B, 7 R, 3 RBI, 8 BB, 3 HBP, 2 K, 2 SB)
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    Matt Esparza (AA - 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, HBP)
    (8 votes)
  • 5%
    Francisco Mejia (AA - 5G, 10-21 for .476, 2B, 4 R, BB, 2 SO, SB)
    (8 votes)
  • 12%
    Julian Merryweather (AAA - 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)
    (17 votes)
  • 63%
    Eric Stamets (AAA - 4G, 11-13 for .846, 4 2B, 5 HR, 7 R, 12 RBI, 2 BB, HBP, SB)
    (85 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

Previous Winners
Conner Marabell (34%) - Week of 5/19-5/25
Shawn Morimando (34%) - Week of 5/13-5/18
Triston McKenzie (75%) - Week of 5/5-5/12
Thomas Pannone (33%) - Week of 4/28-5/4
Tyler Naquin (28%) - Week of 4/21-4/27
Erik Kratz (31%) - Week of 4/14-4/20
Conner Capel (35%) - Week of 4/6-4/13

Most Nominations
Triston McKenzie - 3
Julian Merryweather - 3
Conner Capel - 2
Willi Castro - 2
Matt Esparza - 2
Sam Haggerty - 2
Francisco Mejia - 2
Thomas Pannone - 2
Mike Papi - 2
Eric Stamets - 2
Ka’ai Tom - 2