The Flying Tigers had their share of struggles in 2009, but they still had some players excel for them. Who took home the hardware for the 2009 season for the LFT?
Lakeland Flying Tigers Player of the Year: 1B/DH Michael Bertram
.281/.327/.469, 19 2B, 10 HR, 47 RBI
Though Bertram spent considerable time at Double-A in 2009, the bulk of his season was spent hitting well in the Florida State League. In 288 at-bats with Lakeland, Bertram knocked 82 hits including 19 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. He finished the season with a strong .285/.329/.476 line. Bertram hung in well against lefties too, hitting .333/.361/.404 against the south paws, leading some to believe he isn't just a platoon player. Michael's Lakeland numbers were boosted by a very strong July in which he smoked the ball to the tune of a .356 average and three of his ten home runs. Though there are some questions about his Major League potential, there is little doubting Bertram can be a solid minor league bat capable of playing both first and third base.
Lakeland Flying Tigers Pitcher of the Year: RHP L.J. Gagnier
9-10, 3.83 ERA, 123 K, 40 BB, .247 BAA
Some in the organization believed that Gagnier could have been challenged with a more aggressive assignment than the Florida State League; perhaps warranting a trip to Double-A to try his hand on the hill. That didn't happen, and Gagnier made the most of his opportunity in Lakeland. In 126 innings with the Flying Tigers, Gagnier allowed only 121 hits and walked 38, while punching out nearly a batter per inning (115). June was Gagnier's best month as he fanned 41 hitters in just 33 innings, while only allowing 26 hits and nine walks. In the end, Gagnier earned his shot at Double-A in 2009, making two starts with Erie, holding hitters to just a .231 average over 13 1/3 innings while there.