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2015 TigsTown Awards: West Michigan Whitecaps

The Whitecaps got a lot of contributions from a number of players - who excelled the most to earn player and pitcher of the year honors for the Midwest League champs?

West Michigan Whitecaps Player of the Year: OF Christin Stewart

2015 Stats - Hitting
TEAM AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG
West Michigan 185 29 53 9 4 7 31 18 45 3 2 .286 .375 .492

Despite spending just under half a season in West Michigan, the Tigers supplemental first round pick out of Tennessee posted some strong numbers on his way to winning this award. After a handful of games in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, Stewart spent a couple of weeks in short-season Connecticut before terrorizing Midwest League arms while the Whitecaps marched to a Midwest League Championship. Stewart’s cumulative .286/.375/.492 line with the ‘Caps included nine doubles, four triples, and seven home runs in just 51 games. He also picked up 18 walks to boost his on-base percentage and kept his strikeouts at less than one per game. All told, Stewart put in a dominating half season that topped out a 13 doubles, seven triples, and ten home runs across three levels, most of which occurred in Grand Rapids. With Stewart helping bolster the middle of a ‘Caps lineup that featured Michael Gerber, Ross Kivett, and Zach Shepherd, there was little opposing pitchers could do to avoid giving up hits and runs. 

 

 

West Michigan Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year: RHP Spencer Turnbull

 

2015 Stats - Pitching
TEAM G GS SV IP H HR R ER BB SO HBP ERA WHIP W/L
West Michigan 22 22 0 116.2 106 0 45 39 52 106 7 3.01 1.35 11-3

The Tigers 2014 second round pick out of Alabama, Turnbull worked 22 starts for the Whitecaps in his full-season debut, spanning 116-2/3 innings of impressive work. Finishing with a strong 11-3 mark for the league champions, Turnbull was a dominating force at the front of the rotation. Allowing less than a hit per inning and nearly a strikeout per frame, Turnbull managed a 3.01 ERA as he dominated for much of the season. The only true blemish on his record was a touch of wildness as he issued 52 free passes and hit seven batters throughout the season. With all of his impressive numbers, arguably the most awe inspiring thing Turnbull did during the 2015 season was navigate the entire campaign – over 100 innings of work – without yielding a home run to an opposing player. This feat speaks volumes of his explosive raw stuff and ability to induce weak contact while keeping the ball low in the zone. Turnbull capped his regular season with arguably his most dominating work of his professional career, fanning 12 batters in 6-2/3 innings of one-hit ball, vaulting the Whitecaps to the playoffs on a high note.


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