The DSL Tigers finished up the season with a strong second half. Which pitcher and player excelled the most and earned the TigsTown Awards for pitcher and player of the year?
DSL Tigers Player of the Year: 1B Samir Rijo
.279/.388/.464, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 35 K, 34 BB
Two years ago I was told by an AL scout, that Rijo ‘would hit, without a doubt.' The waiting game is over as Rijo picked the 2009 season to show his true offensive potential. After progressing slightly from 2007 to 2008, Rijo broke out in a huge way this summer. After hitting a solid but uninspiring .246/.373/.418 through the season's first half, Rijo lit up the DSL in the second half; to the tune of an impressive .330/.412/.534 line over 26 games. Rijo amassed 103 total bases in 66 games, including a team leading 14 doubles and six triples, while ranking third on the team with five home runs. He finished the year with nearly as many walks (34) as strikeouts (35), and he drove in 36 runs for the Tigers. Rijo's bat will have to be his calling card as he moves up the ladder, and if this season is any indication, it may just be able to push him to the states and beyond in 2010.
DSL Tigers Pitcher of the Year: LHP Ariel Medina
4-3, 2.15 ERA, 55 K, 27 BB, .221 BAA
Not only did Medina finish second on the DSL Tigers in innings (62 2/3), but he was also one of the squad's most dominant hurlers. The tall, lanky left-hander started 13 games (in 14 appearances) and finished the year with a 4-3 record with one complete game. Medina allowed only 51 hits and 27 walks while on the hill, while striking out 55 hitters. While it is difficult to say he faded in the season's second half, his 3.00 ERA in five post All-Star break starts, was nothing like his 1.63 ERA he posted in nine appearances (eight starts) before the break. The 18-year old Medina is starting to add strength to his long frame, and he has seen his stuff tick upwards over the last year, cracking 90 mph with some regularity.