TigsTown Awards: GCL Tigers

As usual, the GCL Tigers had plenty of raw talent on their roster in 2007. While some players only spent short stints in the complex league, others managed to post impressive numbers over longer stretches. Which players stood out the most, and hope to make a name for themselves heading forward? Check inside to see who took home the GCL hardware in 2007.

VSL Player of the Year: Outfielder Luis Arlet
Arlet's second tour through the Gulf Coast League yielded comparable numbers to those that nearly won him this same award in 2006. The 22-year old outfielder rode an electric first ten games (.385/.400/.769) to an impressive season that should earn him a promotion heading into 2008. Arlet's season ending .312 batting average would have ranked him just outside the top ten had he logged enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. Luis has managed to post impressive numbers since coming stateside and the Tigers are surely starting to take notice. Having signed in 2004, Arlet will need to be added to the 40-man roster this fall; otherwise he will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft by other clubs. It is unlikely the Tigers will take that step with Luis still so far from the Major Leagues, but more seasons like the last two, and he could begin making noise closer to the big leagues.

VSL Pitcher of the Year: Starting Pitcher Brandon Johnson
Johnson joined the Tigers as the organization's final draft and follow selection prior to the new rules taking hold. After a fine season at Butler Community College, Johnson reported to the GCL Tigers to start his pro career, and he jumped out to a flying start. In 11 starts for the rookie level club, Johnson recorded a 4-5 record with a 2.58 ERA. In nearly 60 innings, he only walked 11 batters while striking out 45. After pitching so well for the GCL squad, Brandon was rewarded with a late season promotion to Oneonta where he pitched admirably in his first two appearances. At the conclusion of the GCL season, Johnson ranked sixth in the league in ERA, tied for third in the league in games started, and 14th in the league in WHIP (1.18). Brandon successfully mixed is 89-91 mph fastball and improving slider to make a successful debut in the Gulf Coast League.

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