Lakeland Flying Tigers Player of the Year
1B Aaron Westlake
|Team||AB||AVG||OBP||SLG||K / BB||SB / CS|
|Lakeland||358||.291||.344||.447||87 / 26||0 / 1|
After an impressive four-year career at SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt, Westlake joined the Tigers as a third round pick in 2011. After plugging along in the New York-Penn league and Midwest League in 2011 and 2012, respectively, Westlake finally put together a quality season in a difficult offensive environment at High-A in 2013. In 91 games for the Flying Tigers, Westlake hit .291 with 29 doubles and seven home runs. He also walked 26 times in that span and struck out in 87 at-bats. Westlake finished particularly strong with an impressive .309/.371/.536 line in 29 games down the stretch in August. During that stretch, he blasted eleven doubles and four of his seven home runs, finishing with a season that puts him back on the periphery of the prospect map.
Lakeland Flying Tigers Pitcher of the Year
RHP Melvin Mercedes
|Team||W-L||G / GS||IP||ERA||K / BB||AVG|
|Lakeland||3-1||24 / 0||28.0||0.96||17 / 5||.221|
Though he finished the season by posting a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings at Double-A, Mercedes stood out as the top pitcher to pass through Lakeland this summer. In 24 games with the Flying Tigers, Mercedes finished with a 3-1 record, eleven saves and a 0.96 ERA. He notched 28 innings across his 24 outings, allowing only 23 hits and five walks while fanning 17 batters. Mercedes did not allow a run until his eighth outing of the 2013 season and actually only allowed runs in two of his first 18 contests; spanning 22-1/3 innings and seven saves. For the entire season – between Lakeland and Erie – opposing players batted just .229 off of Mercedes who has now moved himself into a position to make his Major League debut in the Tigers bullpen next summer.
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