Paul Wezner-TigsTown.com

2016 TigsTown Awards: Toledo Mud Hens

With so much movement at the big league level, there weren't many members of the Mud Hens that found themselves both highly effective and in action for the team all season long, as most of the emerging performers found themselves called up to Detroit. Both of this year's award winners found themselves recipients of big league cameos, while providing plenty of high-quality performance for the Hens.

Toledo Mud Hens Player of the Year: OF Steven Moya

http://www.scout.com/player/125579-steven-moya

2016 Stats - Hitting
TEAM AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG
Toledo 409 60 116 23 3 20 66 15 96 3 0 .284 .310 .501

It was a rebound season for the imposing outfielder, who had a down year in 2015, but found his power stroke once again in Toledo. In addition to ripping 11 extra-base hits in just 94 at-bats in a couple of appearances at the big league level, Moya hammered the ball for the Hens, showing aggressiveness at the plate and turning on pitches when he got a pitch to drive. Moya finished 5th in the IL in home runs with 20, despite having only 400 at-bats - all four players that finished in front of him had nearly 100 more at-bats. This power surge did coincide with a regression in his walk rate (from a mediocre 5% to an even worse 3.5%), but taking a few more walks wasn't worth sapping the power that he possesses. His lack of patience and holes in his swing, plus the defensive miscues that he endured in Detroit have likely depressed his likely role to that of a fourth outfielder or bat off the bench, but the power returning also makes it likely that he'll be a serviceable big leaguer.

Toledo Mud Hens Pitcher of the Year: RHP Warwick Saupold

http://www.scout.com/player/167519-warwick-saupold

2016 Stats - Pitching
TEAM G GS SV IP H HR R ER BB SO HBP ERA WHIP W/L
Toledo 18 11 0 74.1 64 3 20 19 22 50 2 2.30 1.16 7-2

There was probably no bigger surprise to the 2016 Mud Hens than the emergence of Warwick Saupold. Traditionally viewed as a reliable swingman, Saupold proved critical to be used both out of the bullpen as well as in the rotation as the club's rotation was influx with the injury issues in Detroit, and Saupold excelled in both roles, so much so that he even earned a big league call-up. Saupold still doesn't have dominating stuff, but did see an uptick in his velocity this season (his limited big league action saw him average 93-94 with his two and four seam fastballs) that likely helped the effectiveness of his breaking pitch. It would have been a banner year for Saupold, if not for a late season arrest that resulted in probation and a five-game suspension for the Aussie pitcher. Saupold is expected to return home this winter and pitch in the Australian Baseball League for the off-season, before returning with hopes to compete for a bullpen spot in Detroit in 2017.


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