It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the last seven days, in which one man is chosen as better than the rest. Be sure to vote for you choice in the poll included at the bottom.
- March 31-April 6: Lonnie Chisenhall
- April 7-13: David Murphy
- April 14-20: Michael Brantley
- April 21-27: Corey Kluber
- April 28-May 4: Carlos Santana
- May 5-11: M.Brantley (editorial pick), J.Tomlin (reader vote)
- May 12-18: David Murphy
- May 19-25: L.Chisenhall (editorial pick), C.Kluber (reader vote)
- May 26-June 1: T.House (editorial pick), C.Kluber (reader vote)
- June 2-8: J.Masterson (editorial pick), L.Chisenhall (reader vote)
This week's nominees include a pair of guys who've been hitting well for a while now, and a pair of guys who seem to be heating up after slow starts to the season. It's another week where you can make a very good case for a lot of the candidates, so I won't be surprised if we have our fourth split award in the last five weeks.
Brantley hit .538/.625/.885 in 32 PA last week, for a wRC+ of 324. He led the team with 14 hits and 9 runs. He had at least 1 hit in all seven games, and multiple hits in six of them. On Monday he tied a franchise record by scoring 5 runs. He scored the game winner on Saturday and put the Tribe ahead with a home run Sunday.
Chisenhall hit .409/.500/.909 in 26 PA last week, for a wRC+ of 290. He lead the team with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. You may notice, those are the same totals he had in Monday night's game, when he went 5 for 5 in one if the greatest hitting performances in franchise history. He did well in the short series against Kansas City too, but went 0 for 10 in Boston.
Kipnis hit .367/.387/.400 in 31 PA last week, for a wRC+ of 127. He had 11 hits, stole 2 bases, drove in 8 runs, and scored 4 more. He had 3 hits and scored 3 runs in Monday's romp, drove in the Tribe's only 2 runs on Thursday, and had 3 hits again in Saturday's win. Hopefully some walks and power return shortly.
Santana hit .296/.367/.481 in 30 PA last week, for a wRC+ of 144. He did especially well over the weekend, going 5 for 11 with 3 extra-base hits. His home run Friday night was just about the team's only bright spot in that game, while his bases-loaded walk on Saturday drove in what proved to be the game-winning run; he then added 3 hits on Sunday.
It's nice to see Santana and Kipnis, the team's top two hitters in 2013, each having a good week, but this is clearly a two-man race. I thought for sure Lonnie would win this honor after his monster game on Monday, but Brantley kept hitting all week. His 14 hits and 9 runs scored didn't just lead the team, they led the American League, as did his batting average, on-base percentage, and wRC+. Indians Player of the Week is a fine honor, but Dr. Smooth should also be AL Player of the Week.
Congratulations for the third time, Michael!