Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media Thursday for the last time before his team takes the…
Toledo Mud Player of the Year
OF Nick Castellanos
|Team||AB||AVG||OBP||SLG||K / BB||SB / CS|
|Toledo||533||.276||.343||.450||100 / 54||4 / 1|
The Tigers' top prospect entering the season, Castellanos owned lofty expectations the minute he stepped on the field in Toledo. After a rough start to the year, Castellanos settled in at the plate and showed off his potent offensive tools. Blessed with a knack for hard contact, Castellanos hit .276 on the year and tied for the league lead with 37 doubles; his third straight campaign with more than 30 two-baggers. In addition, Castellanos popped a career-high 18 home runs while walking 51 times and striking out just 100 times in 134 games. At just 21-years old, Castellanos was one of the youngest position players in the International League this season, but despite that managers and scouts consistently gushed over his long-term potential. Said Toledo manager Phil Nevin, "He's a smart hitter – he's shown a lot of maturity offensively, understating what pitchers have done to him in the past and what they're going to do to him next. For a 21 year old to do what he's doing here, it's pretty impressive." In the end, Castellanos's .276/.343/.450 slash line was enough to earn his first call up to the big leagues when rosters expanded.
Toledo Mud Hens Pitcher of the Year
LHP Jose Alvarez
|Team||W-L||G / GS||IP||ERA||K / BB||AVG|
|Toledo||8-6||21 / 20||128.2||2.80||115 / 25||.235|
Signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason, Alvarez was brought in to provide organizational depth and make a few spot starts if needed along the way. He did plenty more than that, as he dominated the International League for much of the season and even spent considerable time pitching in both the rotation and bullpen for Detroit. While in Toledo, Alvarez started 20 of the 21 games he appeared in and totaled 128 1/3 innings on the bump. His 2.80 ERA ranked among the top ten for qualified starters and he supported his sparkling ERA by allowing less than a hit per inning, walking less than two batters per nine innings, and fanning an even eight hitters per nine. While his big league innings don't shine on the stat sheet like his minor league time, Alvarez was still a valuable member of the big club this season and served the exact role and then some tat the Tigers were hoping he would when they signed him last winter.
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