TigsTown Awards: VSL Tigers

Can Torrealba jump to West Michigan like Robles?

The VSL Tigers had a tough start to the season, but came on strong late; thanks to the performances of several players. Which guys stood out in the field and on the mound? Check inside to find out who TigsTown has selected as the Player and Pitcher of the Year for the VSL Tigers!

VSL Player of the Year: Francisco Martinez (3B)
Martinez had a very promising debut campaign after signing with the Tigers for a six-figure bonus last summer. After a rough start in May that saw the third baseman hit only .246, he turned it on the rest of the season, upping his average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in each successive month. Francisco's season culminated with a .380/.462/.435 line in July that pushed him to a .321 mark for the season. Though he only knocked one home run and four doubles, Martinez showed power potential, while also demonstrating a discerning eye by walking 28 times versus just 28 strikeouts in 68 games. To cap off his fine season, Martinez flashed above-average speed with 20 steals; showing that he truly does possess five-tool potential.

VSL Pitcher of the Year: Michael Torrealba (RHP)
As an 18-year old in his second professional season, Torreabla showed huge strides towards becoming the pitcher the Tigers envisioned when signing him. With a low-90s fastball and sharp biting slider, Michael is armed with two above-average pitches that help him attack hitters when coming out of the bullpen. In 48 relief innings spanning 20 outings, Torrealba collected a 4-1 record with four saves. During his time on the mound he only surrendered 28 hits and 21 walks, for an impressive 1.02 WHIP, to go along with a sparkling 2.06 ERA. While the control must still come around, Torrealba covered his walks by fanning batters at an exceptional rate, sitting down 62 hitters (or 11.63 every nine innings) via strikeout. With numbers like that, Torrealba could be lining himself up for a trip stateside in 2009.

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