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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week: June 16 - June 22

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

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Perhaps aided by #MommaCivale, Aaron Civale blew away the competition last week, raking in 67 percent of the vote to earn his first Player of the Week award.

This week features a nomination from six different levels, including the first nomination from Low-A Mahoning Valley, which just began playing on Monday.

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

* * *

Marcos Gonzalez (DSL, SS) - .409/.461/.455

Still just 17 years old, Marcos Gonzalez was the highest-rated international signing by the Indians back in 2016. The talented shortstop has gotten himself off to a quick start in his first taste of professional ball, currently sporting a .323/.373/.403 slashline through his first 14 games.

He’s also shown a good eye at the plate, only striking out seven times compared to six walks overall.

This past week, Gonzalez racked up nine hits and three walks in 26 plate appearances. While he only had one extra base hit (a double), he was able to put himself in scoring position repeatedly by going five for five on steal attempts, which allowed him to score five runs. This is definitely a top prospect to keep an eye on moving forward.

Ulysses Cantu (A-, 1B) - .500/.500/.688

A sixth round pick in the 2016 MLB draft, Cantu never was able to showcase his offensive ability due to nagging injuries that he was forced to play with in his stint with the AZL Indians.

Now healthy, Cantu has been Mahoning Valley’s most consistent hitter in the middle of the lineup through the team’s first four games, racking up eight hits in 16 at bats with three doubles already.

Cantu doesn’t have much speed so his bat is going to have to carry him through the Indians system, but if he can keep producing at even a fraction of what he’s been able to do early on, he’ll get himself back on the prospect radar in a hurry.

Ben Krauth (A+, LHP) - 0.00 ERA, 14.6 K/9, 1.00 WHIP

A 16th round pick in last year’s draft, Ben Krauth has really made a name for himself already as a top tier southpaw long reliever. Krauth began his 2016 career with over 30 innings without giving up an earned run and he’s been very consistent for Single-A Lake County this year, currently sporting a 1.81 ERA through 44.2 innings while striking out 56.

This past week, Krauth was used in long relief twice and he delivered both occasions, tossing four scoreless innings each time and giving Lake County a chance to come from behind and win both games. Despite not having elite velocity, he was also able to strike out 13 batters in his eight innings pitched.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 23-year old promoted to High-A Lynchburg in the near future.

Shane Bieber (A+, RHP) - 0.64 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 0.71 WHIP

The king of command, 2016 Indians fourth round draft pick Shane Bieber continues to pound the strike zone and rack up whiffs.

In 2017, Bieber has only walked five batters in 86 innings, while striking out 80, and two of those walks were intentional. The UC Santa Barbara alum began the week with a strong quality start, giving up one run in six innings while striking out five, but his encore was even better.

In last night’s masterpiece, the 22-year old right-hander tossed eight shutout innings while striking out 11 and walking none (of course). Bieber has already been promoted once this season, but if he can keep putting on performances like that, he might see himself in Double-A before the season is over.

Thomas Pannone (AA, LHP) - 2.31 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 1.29 WHIP

Thomas Pannone didn’t pout when his insane scoreless innings streak finally ended earlier this year. Instead, he got right back to work.

Pannone didn’t give up a single earned run in High-A Lynchburg, earning a promotion to Double-A Akron where he’s impressively led the team in earned run average (1.89) over his eight starts.

This past week, Pannone racked up two solid starts to help lead the RubberDucks back over the .500 mark for the first time all season. In 11.2 innings of work, he gave up three runs, struck out 12 batters and only walked two.

Erik Kratz (AAA, C) - .357/.438/1.000

Kratz is a journeyman at 37 years old, but we don’t discriminate here in the POTW article! The veteran earns his second nomination of the season after lighting on fire over his last three games this week.

The catcher only collected five hits in five games, but they were huge ones as four of them left the ballpark, helping him get his slugging percentage to a ridiculous one thousand for the week.

Kratz also walked twice in his limited action.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Marcos Gonzalez (DSL - 5 G, 9-22 for .409, 2B, 3 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 5 SB)
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    Ulysses Cantu (A- - 4G, 8-16 for .500, 3 2B, 4 K)
    (6 votes)
  • 10%
    Ben Krauth (A - 2 G, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, HBP)
    (8 votes)
  • 49%
    Shane Bieber (A+ - 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 16 K, HBP)
    (36 votes)
  • 13%
    Thomas Pannone (AA - 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 K)
    (10 votes)
  • 16%
    Erik Kratz (AAA - 5 G, 5-14 for .357, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K)
    (12 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now

Previous Winners

Aaron Civale (67%) - Week of 6/9-6/15
Francisco Mejia (60%) - Week of 6/2-6/8
Eric Stamets (63%) - Week of 5/26-6/1
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 - 4
Francisco Mejia - 4
Thomas Pannone - 4
Julian Merryweather - 3
Richie Shaffer - 3