The VSL Tigers didn't have a great year in the standings, but they still had plenty of players that excelled to earn consideration for the player and pitcher of the year honors.
VSL Tigers Player of the Year: 1B Gilbert Gomez
.253/.341/.555, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 46 K, 13 BB
The first time Gilbert Gomez's name came up with scouts in 2007 they remarked he had "unreal power" and "would be a serious power threat." Two years later, we are finally seeing what they were talking about. Gomez started the year a little slow by hitting only .200 and .213 in May and June, respectively, but he certainly turned it on late. Despite his low average in June, Gomez ripped a double and five home runs while driving in ten. Things really got going for Gomez in July as he hit at a strong .273/.333/.564 clip that included seven doubles and three home runs. Gomez finished the year with a .253/.341/.555, and had he accumulated enough at-bats to qualify, he would have ranked third in the VSL in slugging, while his eleven home runs did place him third in the league in that category. Gomez's offensive breakout may well have earned him a strong chance at coming stateside for the 2010 season.
VSL Tigers Pitcher of the Year: RHP Josue Carreno
3-3, 2.36 ERA, 43 K, 6 BB, .242 BAA
For the second season in a row, Josue Carreno turned in one of the most impressive pitching performances of the year for the VSL Tigers. Carreno finished the season with a 2.36 ERA and 3-3 record. Carreno was only able to notch 45 2/3 innings of work this year due to some blister problems on his right hand, but he did strike out 43 with only an amazing six walks allowed. Though he started out strong with a 2.16 ERA in his first two starts of the year during May, Carreno turned it up a notch by posting a 2-1 record and 1.17 ERA in three starts, with only two walks in 15 1/3 innings. Though Carreno earned serious consideration to come stateside prior to the 2009 season, he will almost certainly merit even more consideration this off-season as the organization looks to give him the next challenge in his career.