2014 TigsTown Awards: West Michigan Whitecaps

The Whitecaps had the Midwest League MVP in the outfield, and the MWL ERA champ in the rotation, so it shouldn't be a surprise who took home the awards in West Michigan, despite a number of worthy candidates.

West Michigan Whitecaps Player of the Year
OF Wynton Bernard

Team AB AVG OBP SLG K / BB SB / CS
West Michigan 507 .323 .394 .442 86 / 56 45 / 19

It should come as no surprise that the Midwest League MVP was deserving of the Whitecaps Player of the Year honors. Bernard hit .323, good for the batting crown in the Midwest League, in addition to showing excellent patience at the plate, with 86 strikeouts compared to 56 walks. Bernard didn’t hit for a ton of power, but did have 42 extra base hits in a league known for pitching prowess and also notably, swiped 45 bases. At 24, Bernard is positioned closer to a minor league veteran than an up-and-coming prospect, but his success is hard to ignore.



West Michigan Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year
LHP Kevin Ziomek

Team W-L G / GS IP ERA K / BB AVG
West Michigan 10-6 23 / 23 123.0 2.27 152 / 53 .201

With how good the Whitecaps rotation was this season, there were many options to go with for West Michigan’s Pitcher of the Year, but ultimately the nod went to Ziomek, who was excellent for the ‘Caps all year, but got even better as the season went along. He set a new Whitecaps record by striking out 11.1 batters every nine innings, while posting a miniscule 2.27 ERA over 23 starts. That was also good for the best in the Midwest League among qualified pitchers, while his 152 strikeouts placed him second. With Ziomek’s second half surge, he solidified his prospect status and with gaps in Lakeland opened by trades and promotions, could be a candidate to skip right to Erie.






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