Starting with the most notable, it’s been no secret that Steven Moya has had an outstanding season for the Erie Seawolves, as he’s tied franchise records for home runs and RBI’s, in addition to leading the Eastern League. As of Friday, he had 34 home runs and 102 RBI’s, to go with 32 doubles and a .270 average.
He was recognized for those achievements this week, being named the league’s Most Valuable Player. He’s the first SeaWolves player to be named Eastern League MVP, and the first member of the club to be recognized by the league since Matt Walbeck was named EL Manager of the Year in 2007.
While Moya has made plenty of headlines, West Michigan Whitecaps outfielder Wynton Bernard also had a record-setting year. After being released by San Diego in the spring, Bernard impressed for the Tigers in an open tryout in March, where they signed him and placed him with the Low-A team, where he immediately started making noise (2014 Spring Notes: Sunday Back Field Notes – Who is Wynton Bernard?) and earned a spot on the roster.
From there, he went on to set the Whitecaps single-season record for hits, with 162 as of Friday, good for a .325 average. He also had 41 extra base hits and an .841 OPS.
Those numbers were good enough to land Bernard the Midwest League Most Valuable Player award. He’s the third Whitecap to ever win the award, with outfielder Gorkys Hernandez being named MVP in 2007 and catcher Robert Fick winning the MVP award in 1997.
In addition to Bernard, the Whitecaps placed a couple of pitchers on the postseason All-Star team. Right-hander Buck Farmer and left-hander Kevin Ziomek were also named to the list for their success this season.
Ziomek has a 2.27 ERA in 23 starts for the ‘Caps, with 152 strikeouts. Those strikeouts are good for an 11.12 K/9 rate, which would be good for a new Whitecaps franchise record.
Farmer spent most of the year with West Michigan, with a 2.60 ERA over 18 starts and 116 strikeouts (against only 24 walks) in over 103 innings. As most Tigers fans know, he rocketed up the organizational ladder from there, heading to Erie and then making his big league debut when a spot starter was needed in Detroit. He’ll finish out the minor league season in Toledo.
Finally, Toledo didn’t get an MVP nod like Erie or West Michigan, but still placed a pair of Mud Hens on the International League postseason All-Star team. Infielder/designated hitter Mike Hessman and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera were both named to the team.
Hessman set the league’s new home run record for a career earlier this year, when he belted his 259th home run in the IL. He has 28 home runs this year through Friday, which is good for second in the IL.
Carrera had a very strong year for the Hens up through July, until he was called up to Detroit to help fill the void created when the club traded center fielder Austin Jackson in the David Price trade. Carrera hit .307 for the Hens with an .809 OPS and stole 43 bases for the club.