GCL Tigers Player of the Year: 2B Alden Carrithers
Despite being a college senior, Carrithers didn't sign to play with the Tigers until about mid-way through July. In the 39 games that Alden played for the GCL squad, he was clearly their offensive catalyst. His .316 batting average left him just a shade outside of the league's top ten, while his .464 on-base percentage led the circuit, and his .893 OPS was good enough for sixth among league participants. Even though he didn't see as much action as many other players in the league, Carrithers also ranked fifth in the league in walks with 28, compared to jus 19 strikeouts. On top of all that, Alden played good defense and swiped 16 bases in 17 attempts to round out his debut performance. Carrithers is polished on the field and he could be challenged in 2009 with an aggressive assignment further up the ladder.
GCL Tigers Pitcher of the Year: SP Brandon Hamilton
After a rough start to the year that involved overcoming a minor injury, Hamilton was hit around at West Michigan, before heading back to the Gulf Coast League. Upon his return he was utterly dominant from start to finish. Hamilton only worked 38 2/3 innings on the hill, but he sported a 5-1 record and 1.86 ERA over that span. Brandon started seven of the nine games he appeared in, and was very stingy with his hits allowed; giving up only 27. After battling his command in the Midwest League, Hamilton was throwing strikes and blowing it past hitters to the tune of just 13 walks and 42 strikeouts. His crowning achievement this season was probably his 5 2/3 inning victory against the Blue Jays, where he walked just one and struck out ten opposing hitters. Expect Hamilton to get another crack at the Midwest League in 2009, and with another year of development under his belt, he should have better luck.