2012 TigsTown Awards: West Michigan Whitecaps

With the season wrapped up, it's time once again to start handing out the hardware. Which pitcher and player excelled the most for the West Michigan Whitecaps?

West Michigan Whitecaps Player of the Year
SS Eugenio Suarez

West Michigan 511 .288 .380 .409 116 / 65 21 / 9

Eugenio Suarez turned in a very strong season for West Michigan this year and is considered one of the organization's breakout prospects for 2012. After spending three years working his way through the Venezuelan Summer League, Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League, Suarez made his full-season debut one to remember. In 135 games for the Whitecaps, Suarez managed to hit .288 with 65 walks and 116 strikeouts. His .409 slugging percentage in a tough offensive environment was backed by 34 doubles, which tied for seventh in the league. He also managed to pop five triples and six home runs while rounding out his stat line with 21 seals in 30 attempts. Scouts noticed the 20-year old Suarez as well, with one AL talent evaluator saying, "He does a lot of things well. He may not be a star but he has a chance at a big league career, particularly with his defensive abilities."

West Michigan Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year
RHP Marcelo Carreno

West Michigan 9-8 27 / 27 139.1 3.23 119 / 28 .246

Marcelo (formerly known as Josue) Carreno has been on the radar here at TigsTown.com for several years, ranking in the organization's top twenty prospects since 2010. A now burly right-hander, Carreno's development has hit some bumps as his body has grown and he was forced to adjust his mechanics. While repeating with West Michigan in 2012, Carreno began to figure things out, posting a 3.23 ERA in 27 starts that spanned 139 1/3 innings. He dropped his hit rate by over a hit rate and walk rate by over one per nine innings and his strikeout rate held steady around eight per nine innings. "There's something there," said the same AL scout. "Now that he's throwing more consistent strikes with his improved velocity, he's got a chance to pitch at the back of a big league rotation."

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