TigsTown Awards: Toledo Mud Hens

Any time you have a team go the distance, it's tough to pick just one player and one pitcher as the club's top contributors. So who took home the hardware for Toledo in '06?

Toledo Player of the Year: IF/OF Ryan Raburn
Raburn's road back from a serious ATV accident continued this season, with his patented summer hot streak. Ryan turned it on in a big way when the calendar flipped to May, and kept it rolling right through June, on his way to a final line of .275/.349/.490. That line included a career high 20 home runs, and also a career high in RBI with 79. Raburn's RBI total and slugging percentage (.490) ranked 7th in the International League, and should earn him some consideration for a call-up once Toledo has completed its playoff run. Not only did Raburn post an impressive offensive season, but he also made the move from second base to left field in an attempt to find a way to get him to the big leagues at some point. Ryan could compete for time as a reserve on Detroit's opening day roster in 2007, but will most likely make a return trip to Toledo to start the season.

Toledo Pitcher of the Year: Starter Jordan Tata
Coming off a season in which Tata was named Lakeland's Pitcher of the Year by TigsTown, the Tigers surprised everyone when he made the opening day roster in Detroit, pitching out of the bullpen. After a successful April, Tata was sent back to Toledo to get more innings, and he picked up right where he left off in 2005. Jordan finished the minor league season with a 10-6 record and a 3.84 ERA, before being recalled to Detroit on September 1st. His 10 wins tied him for 7th in the International League, despite missing the season's first month. Tata took home two additional awards this season; the MiLB.com International League pitcher of the week award from May 26th to June 2nd, and the TigsTown Toledo Pitcher of the Month Award in August. Jordan profiles as a solid starter, but could become a dominant reliever if the Tigers move him there full time. Don't be surprised if Tata makes the Detroit roster out of spring training again in 2007; and if he does, he should be there all season long.


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