The 2010 season is now over, which means it's time to hand out the hardware! Who excelled as the Connecticut Tigers top pitcher and position player? Find out inside!
Connecticut Tigers Player of the Year: OF P.J. Polk
.267/.343/.356, 13 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 29 SB
Polk was the Tigers 13th round pick in June, out of the University of Tennessee. During his junior year on campus, Polk hit .352. While he couldn't maintain that lofty average in his pro debut, PJ did manage a strong rookie season in a tough offensive environment. The speedy Polk finished the year with a .267/.343/.356 line that was roughly average to above average across the board. In just 64 games, the C-Tigers primary center fielder stole 29 games while being caught only six times; all while missing some time early in the year to a pesky hamstring injury. The 21-year old Polk earned praise from several NYPL managers and observers for his solid outfield play, and his professional day-to-day approach. After surviving his debut season in a really tough offensive league, Polk will look to improve upon his numbers in 2011.
Connecticut Tigers Pitcher of the Year: RHP Miguel Mejia
3-2, 1.02 ERA, 33 K, 11 BB, 0.91 WHIP
Though non-drafted free agent Steve Crnkovich
had a fantastic rookie campaign after signing with the Tigers, it was impossible to ignore the work of 19-year old reliever Bruce Rondon
. After being sent back to Venezuela after just three starts in the GCL last year, Rondon was back in the states with a vengeance this year. In 24 games for the GCL Tigers, Rondon tossed 25 2/3 stellar innings, finishing with a 0.70 ERA and a WHIP of 0.97. If that wasn't impressive enough, Rondon led the GCL with 15 saves in his 24 appearances. The league's second best save collector managed just ten. The impressive stats keep rolling for the 6-2 right-hander with a low-90s fastball, as he struck out 26 batters, and while he did walk 14, the youngster overpowered hitters and allowed only eleven base hits all season. The Tigers promoted Rondon to the High-A Florida State League at season's end, where he made four appearances for the Flying Tigers, picking up two saves, striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings, and allowing only two hits. He finished his High-A exposure with a 1.35 ERA, giving him a cumulative season ERA of just 0.84.