The 2010 season is now over, which means it's time to hand out the hardware! Who excelled as the West Michigan Whitecaps top pitcher and position player? Find out inside!
West Michigan Whitecaps Player of the Year: OF Jamie Johnson
.284/.388/.413, 21 2B, 8 3B, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 11 SB
Johnson was the Tigers seventh round pick in last year's draft, joining the organization out of the University of Oklahoma, and immediately posting a solid season in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2009. Logically, the Tigers promoted the speedy outfielder to West Michigan for the 2010 campaign, and he didn't disappoint with a strong season in a difficult league. For the year, Johnson amassed a .284/.413/.388 line with nearly one hundred walks and only 76 strikeouts in 122 games. That command of the strike zone left him in many excellent hitter's counts, and he was able to slug 32 extra base hits from the top of the ‘Caps lineup. His defense in center field was also a positive this summer, as Johnson was one of West Michigan's season-long leaders.
West Michigan Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year: LHP Kenny Faulk
5-4, 2.16 ERA, 58.1 IP, 78 K, 30 BB, .235 BAA
Faulk was another of the Tigers 2009 draft picks, having been popped in the 16th round out of Kennesaw State. The lefty reliever was masterful in his first full minor league season working primarily as the ‘Caps closer. In 49 games, Kenny finished with a 5-4 record and 12 saves, while posting an outstanding 2.16 ERA. In 58 1/3 innings, Faulk allowed only 52 hits, and while he walked 30, he also struck out a whopping 78 hitters while holding the opposition to a .235 average. Faulk was even better after the Midwest League All-Star break, posting a microscopic 0.93 ERA in 26 appearances after that time. Over that same second half span, Faulk whiffed 42 hitters in just 29 innings.