Who excelled for the O-Tigers in 2009 and earned the 2009 pitcher and player of the year awards?
Oneonta Tigers Player of the Year: C John Murrian
.296/.356/.468, 16 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 35 RBI
The Tigers ninth round pick in June's draft, Murrian signed quickly and was an immediate force for the O-Tigers. "He's a guy every coach wants on his team. Just a good, good player," said one Big South coach that saw him for several years at Winthrop. That sentiment proved true in very quick fashion as Murrian took July by storm in the New York-Penn League. For the month, Murrian hit at an impressive .351/.402/.635 clip, demonstrating power, patience, contact ability, and his trademark solid defense. For the season, Murrian finished at .285/.348/.458 in a tough offensive environment, with 15 doubles, and four home runs. "He's almost a can't miss type for me. For about a month stretch there, there wasn't a better catcher around," said Oneonta Manager Howard Bushong. Murrian's fine debut at Oneonta could be just the beginning for a well-rounded player in a system in need of good catching prospects.
Oneonta Tigers Pitcher of the Year: RHP Clemente Mendoza
5-5, 3.19 ERA, 50 K, 19 BB, .247 BAA
After spending two years hurling in the Venezuelan Summer League, the 18-year old (now 19) right-hander came stateside for the 2009 season, and he was aggressively pushed to the New York-Penn League. Originally slated for a bullpen role with the O-Tigers, Mendoza was quickly forced to the rotation as injuries and ineffectiveness sapped some of the team's other starters. Mendoza responded by posting a 5-5 record and 3.19 ERA in 16 games (11 starts), including one complete game. Through 73 1/3 innings, Mendoza allowed only 69 hits and 19 walks, while striking out 50 and yielding only three long balls. His Manager, Howard Bushong, was quite impressed, stating "He has great poise; great pitchability, he throws strikes, and absolutely nothing gets to him. He was a huge asset for us." With a solid three-pitch mix that works as average across the board, and flashes above-average with regularity, Mendoza could have a bright future as he moves up the organizational ladder.