TigsTown Awards: GCL Tigers

The GCL Tigers haven't had a consistent power presence since Wilkin Ramirez and Gilberto Mejia were crushing the ball for the rookie club - who came in this season to bring that and earn GCL Tigers Prospect of the Year?

GCL Tiger Player of the Year: First Baseman Chris Carlson
Despite very strong seasons from a couple of his Latin teammates (Gorkys Hernandez and Luis Arlet), Chris Carlson was a landslide winner of this award. Carlson took home both the July and August TigsTown GCL Player of the Month Awards, and completely dominated his competition from June through August. The New Mexico State product was considered a difficult sign after being taken in the 29th round this past June, but the Tigers were able to persuade him to come aboard; and boy are they glad he did. Carlson tied for 3rd in the GCL in hits, placed 1st in doubles, 1st in homeruns, 1st in RBI, tied for 4th in walks, ranked 6th in batting average, 3rd in OBP, and first in both slugging and OPS. That's an impressive resume. Carlson's 16 doubles and 11 homeruns are both high marks in recent memory for any Tigers GCL prospect. There's no doubt Chris has the big time power the Tigers system has been lacking, and hopefully the 2007 season will provide enough of a challenge to get a better gauge on his long term prospects.

GCL Tiger Pitcher of the Year: Starter/Reliever Alfredo Figaro
A year after completely overmatching the Dominican Summer League, Figaro came stateside and tried to duplicate his success in the GCL. His numbers indicate he was largely successful. The 22-year old from the Dominican Republic logged 38.33 innings in 14 appearances (4 starts), while walking only 12 and striking out 31. He did not yield a homerun, and only gave up 29 hits for the season. As impressive as those numbers – and his 3-1 record – may be, his 0.70 ERA and 1.07 WHIP are even better indicators of his dominance. Figaro uses a low-90s fastball with tremendous late movement to baffle hitters. His slurvy breaking ball, and average change-up could use work, but they are adequate at this time. If he can make more strides with his off-speed pitches this off-season, he could easily continue his dominance at either Oneonta or West Michigan in 2007.

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