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Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week: June 30 - July 6

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

You guys were ready for Bobby Bradley to break out last week as the slugging first baseman garnered his first Player of the Week award, raking in 55 percent of the vote.

This week features nominations from five different levels as several players are really starting to stand out from the crowd.

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

* * *

Ulysses Cantu (A-, 1B) - .346/.370/.577

The short season Mahoning Valley Scrappers have only been playing three weeks, but Ulysses Cantu has already garnered two POTW nominations. A sixth round pick in the 2016 MLB draft, Cantu had trouble adjusting due to nagging injuries, but he’s healthy now and he’s tearing the cover off the ball.

Cantu is currently leading the Low-A New York Penn League in hits with 24 and he’s solidified himself as a middle of the order hitter for the Scrappers, who are off to a solid 10-7 start to the season.

This past week, Cantu collected nine more hits, two of them home runs. He scored four runs, knocked in five and walked once while striking out four times. And he’s doing all of this having just turned 19 years old this past May.

Mitch Longo (A, RF) - .421/.450/.842

A 14th round draft pick in 2016 out of Ohio University, Mitch Longo had a delayed start to his 2017 season thanks to a broken hamate bone suffered in spring training.

He returned in May, only to be shelved again after a week due to another wrist injury.

Finally healthy after being activated last week, the 22-year old has been making up for lost time. In 14 games played, he’s already racked up 20 hits in just 51 at bats, good for a .392 average on the young season.

Longo was particularly effective this past week, going 8-19 in five games while smashing two home runs, scoring six runs and stealing three bases. He’ll be getting promoted soon if he can keep anything close to this pace going at Lake County.

Aaron Civale (A+, RHP) - 0.00 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 0.57 WHIP

A third round pick in last year’s draft, Aaron Civale has continued to exceed expectations. The Indians converted the right-hander from a reliever to a starting pitcher and he’s blossomed into one of their brightest starting pitching prospects.

Civale was promoted from Single-A to High-A and he’s pitched even better since moving up a level, having earned his third Player of the Week nomination.

This past week, Civale stymied opposing hitters in his lone start, tossing seven shutout innings on four hits while striking out eight and walking none in a winning effort.

Triston McKenzie (A+, RHP) - 0.00 ERA, 14.1 K/9, 0.43 WHIP

Triston McKenzie was hyped up beyond belief prior to the 2017 season and he’s been nothing short of brilliant. The 19-year old former 2015 first round pick was aggressively promoted to the High-A Carolina League and he’s stood out from the pack.

McKenzie is third in the league in ERA at 2.91, he’s second in WHIP at 1.03 and he’s first in strikeouts by 26 with 115, which is already a career high. He’s also the lone qualified pitcher in the league who hasn’t hit an opposing batter with a pitch yet.

This past week, McKenzie only had one start, but it was a good one. He tossed seven shutout innings on three hits without walking a batter and he struck out 11. It was the third time this season he’s cross the double digit mark for strikeouts in a start. Whenever the Tribe brass decide to promote him to Double-A, he’s already proven he’s more than ready.

Bobby Bradley (AA, 1B) - .375/.423/.708

Something has clicked for Bobby Bradley over the past month two months, which has seen his batting average consistently rise as the clean-up hitting first baseman for Double-A Akron. On May 16th, Bradley was batting just .193, but by this past week, he had eclipsed .270.

Bradley is striking out a career low 22.2 percent of the time and the number is still falling, although it appears he might be sacrificing a bit of his vaunted ability to take a free pass as he’s walking a full-season career worst 11.4 percent.

This past week, he had some huge games, none bigger than a 3-4 effort where he finished just a single shy of the cycle. In seven games, Bradley had three doubles, a triple, a home run, was walked and was hit by a pitch. He knocked in eight runs and scored four more.

Shawn Morimando (AAA, LHP) - 0.00 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 0.89 WHIP

The story of Shawn Morimando is starting to reach legendary levels. After a horrific start to the season, Morimando threw his first career complete game shutout two weeks ago.

Two starts later, he tossed another complete game shutout, striking out 12 batters in the process.

This past week, he threw his third complete game shutout out of his last four games, this time just missing a Maddux by three pitches.

WIth his recent performances, Morimando has cemented himself as the best starter available in Triple-A Columbus and has almost certainly leapfrogged both Ryan Merritt and Adam Plutko as the pitcher who can be called upon should the Indians need a spot starter.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Ulysses Cantu (A- - 6 G, 9-26 for .346, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, BB, 4 K)
    (3 votes)
  • 76%
    Mitch Longo (A - 5 G, 8-19 for .421, 2 HR, 6 R, BB, 2 SO, 3 SB)
    (329 votes)
  • 3%
    Aaron Civale (A+ - 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Triston McKenzie (A+ - 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)
    (18 votes)
  • 4%
    Bobby Bradley (AA - 7 G, 9-24 for .375, 3 2B, 3B, HR, BB, HBP, 3 K)
    (19 votes)
  • 10%
    Shawn Morimando (AAA - 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)
    (44 votes)
428 votes total Vote Now

Previous Winners

Bobby Bradley (55%) - Week of 6/23-6/29
Shane Bieber (49%) - Week of 6/16-6/22
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 - 5
Francisco Mejia - 4
Shawn Morimando - 4
Thomas Pannone - 4
Bobby Bradley - 3
Willi Castro - 3
Aaron Civale - 3
Matt Esparza - 3
Julian Merryweather - 3
Richie Shaffer - 3