TigsTown Awards: Toledo Mud Hens

In his third season with Toledo, Ryan Raburn really turned it on and earned himself another call-up to Detroit. Was it enough to earn Player of the Year honors? Who showed enough on the mound to take home Toledo's other award? Check inside to find out!

Toledo Player of the Year: Outfielder Ryan Raburn
If there is one thing Raburn has done the last four years since returning from major injuries, its hit the baseball, and hit it hard. For the third consecutive season, the Tigers sent Raburn to AAA-Toledo where he absolutely rocked International League pitchers for a little over three months. In 85 games for the Hens, Ryan posted a .292/.391/.540 line with 21 doubles and 17 home runs. His 64 RBI and 12 steals also impressed International League managers. After struggling to master third base or second base, Raburn moved back to his natural position in the outfield, and excelled both in the field and at the plate. After being called up to Detroit in July, Raburn continued to hit, while playing sporadically all over the diamond. For the third time in four seasons, and the second in a row at Toledo, Raburn takes home one of TigsTown's most prized honors.

Toledo Pitcher of the Year: Starting Pitcher Virgil Vasquez
All Vasquez has done since joining the Tiger organization out of UC-Santa Barbara is win ball games and impress managers. Vasquez closed the season ranked fourth in the league in innings (155), sixth in ERA (3.48), tied for first in shutouts (2), and third in the league in both WHIP (1.11) and strikeouts (127). Virgil pitched well enough throughout the season that he earned several trips to Detroit for spot starts, and eventually another call-up when rosters expanded in September. Vasquez may not have the raw stuff to be a frontline ace, but he does have a solid mix of pitches, and good command of a slightly above-average fastball. He should compete for a slot in the Tiger rotation in spring training, and will have a great chance to break camp with the big club in some capacity.


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