TigsTown Awards: Prospects of the Year

The time has come; who was the best pitcher and best player down on the farm in 2006? Find out inside who was crowned TigsTown Prospects of the Year in the third annual TigsTown Awards.

TigsTown Player of the Year: OF Cameron Maybin
The Tigers – and their fans – were ecstatic when Cameron Maybin fell to them with the 10th pick in last year's draft, and rightfully so. There were high expectations placed on the uber-talented teenager, and his debut campaign didn't disappoint in any fashion. Despite missing time with a finger injury in May and early June, Cameron finished the season with a lofty .304/.384/.457 line, in a tough hitter's environment. His average and on-base percentage ranked him 5th in the Midwest League, while his slugging percentage ranked him 10th. Cam also ranked 6th in the Midwest League in steals with 27, while only being caught seven times. Maybin took home two Player of the Month Awards, in April and July, and likely would have taken home more, if not for the injury. Cameron has more talent than any Tigers position prospect in recent memory, and he fulfilled on that promise this season. With another off-season of added maturity and strength, Cameron could debut at AA next season, and may see a brief call-up to Detroit next fall. Watch out folks, this kid is for real!

TigsTown Pitcher of the Year: Starter Jair Jurrjens
TigsTown jumped on the Jair Jurrjens bandwagon following his breakout 2005 season, and we were rewarded with a stellar 2006 season that saw the 20-year old from the Netherlands reach AA by mid-season. While starting the year at Lakeland, Jurrjens took home back-to-back Pitcher of the Month Awards to the start the season, and continued his run with his third straight award after a promotion to Erie. After a down month in July that saw him battle some mild control problems, Jurrjens bounced back to win his 4th monthly award of the season, with a strong August, before being shut down after a heavy workload throughout the season. Jair finished the 2006 season with a 9-3 record in 24 starts, a 2.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 3.5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Despite many doubters coming into the season, Jurrjens is quickly establishing himself as the next in a long line of top flight Tigers pitching prospects. Jurrjens will most assuredly return to AA-Erie in 2007, and he'll be given an opportunity to win a spot in the Toledo rotation during spring training. All the talk of the last two years has centered on Verlander, Zumaya, Sanchez, and Miller – and rightfully so – but make sure you don't ignore this kid, because he's pretty darn good.

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