2004 West Michigan Prospects of the Year

It was one of those years for West Michigan - where they won it all, but did it without one of those superstar-type players. No one had an incredible season for the Whitecaps, every player on the roster has some flaws. But that didn't stop two of them from emerging as West Michigan's pitcher and player of the year.

1B Kelly Hunt

Kelly Hunt didn't come into the season as one of the big names on the Whitecaps' roster, but by the end of the year, everyone knew who he was. Fifth Third Ballpark, the home of the Whitecaps, has always been considered one of the toughest parks for hitters in all of baseball – but that didn't seem to affect Hunt. Hunt blasted 21 Home Runs and 28 doubles, including a .441 slugging percentage. Hunt still needs to improve his patience at the plate (just 22 walks in 546 at bats), and speed up his development as he is a 23-year old in low-A ball, but Hunt emerged as a pleasant surprise as a staple in the middle of the order for West Michigan. Now, it'll be up to Hunt to see if he can repeat that success in 2005 for Lakeland.

AVG: .275
HR: 23
RBI: 102
2B: 28
OPS: .749

SP Jordan Tata

Jordan Tata was one of 6 starters for that performed well for West Michigan, but arguably none of them were more important than Tata was for the team down the stretch, especially in the playoffs. Tata's record wasn't overly impressive at 8-11, but his 3.35 ERA certainly is – as was an incredible 5-0 record in July for the Whitecaps. Tata struggled with his command at times (68 walks), but still averaged over 6 strikeouts per 9 innings. Tata didn't enter the organization as a top prosect, but thusfar through 2 seasons, the 16th round draft pick has displayed an ERA just over 3. He still has a ways to go in a number of areas, and will need to keep proving himself, but this youngster is definitely one to keep an eye on as he moves up the organizational ladder.

RECORD: 8-11
ERA: 3.35
IP: 166.1
K/BB: 116:68

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