2013 TigsTown Awards: West Michigan Whitecaps

With the 2013 minor league season over, it's time to start handing out the hardware. The Whitecaps fought through a tough season, but which pitcher and player stepped up for the club on the west side of the state?

West Michigan Whitecaps Player of the Year
1B/OF Jeff Holm

West Michigan 459 .270 .344 .397 75 / 55 16 / 10

A local product drafted out of Michigan State in 2011, Holm split 122 games between first base and the outfield corners this summer for West Michigan. Holm finished the summer with a .270 average and 55 walks against just 75 strikeouts. He backed those solid numbers up with 15 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs and 16 stolen bases, giving him a well-rounded statistical profile for the season. The peak of Holm's season came right out of the gate as he hit .389 with more walks than strikeouts in April. He continued with strong performances throughout May and June before tapering off as the summer moved along and he played more than double the games he has played in either of his first two seasons.

West Michigan Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year
RHP Jake Thompson

West Michigan 3-3 17 / 16 83.1 3.13 91 / 32 .244

The Tigers top pick in 2012, Thompson didn't start the season in the West Michigan rotation, instead working on a strength and conditioning program in Lakeland before making his full-season debut at the end of May. Thompson allowed nine runs in his first two outings of the season but quickly settled in and posted a 2.61 ERA over his final 15 games and 76 innings. All told, the 19-year old Thompson finished the season with a 3-3 record, 3.13 ERA, less than a hit per inning and more than a strikeout per inning. At times, Thompson appeared to be too much for Midwest League hitters, particularly with his quality slider that led to many of his strikeouts, and even though he didn't pitch a full season in West Michigan, he is a veritable lock to move on to High-A Lakeland next season.

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