Erik Lis, 1B
Lis hit the ball hard from the start of the season, to the end, and played well enough that most people believed he should have been promoted to the Florida State League. He was a Midwest League All-Star at mid-season as well as post-season, and his numbers were some of the best put up by any player in the Twins organization. The sweet-swinging lefty batted .326 for the Snappers, blasting 16 home runs, and driving in 70. While all of those numbers were a team-high, Lis also led the team in doubles (37), walks (55), hits (134), and runs (69).
Aside from team-highs, Lis also led the Twins organization in batting average, was fourth in home runs, and finished seventh in runs batted in.
Pitcher of the Year:
Yohan Pino, SP/RP
Pino wore many hats for the Snappers in the 2006 season, and by the end of the season, had put up one of the best seasons of anybody in Minor League Baseball. Pino appeared in 42 games for the Snappers, winning 14, and he was only on the losing end twice. Working from both the bullpen and the rotation, Pino put together a 1.91 earned run average, and struck out 99 batters in 94 innings of work. Along the way, Pino notched three saves, made seven starts, and held the opposition to a .198 batting average.
Unsung Hero:One look at the Beloit Snappers roster and it is easy to overlook Eli Tintor. After all, with a roster filled with top draft picks and high ceiling players, it is easy to let your eyes shuffle past Tintor's name. However, this season he played as well as just about every other player on Beloit's roster, and really put himself in position to become a top outfield prospect in the coming years. For the season, Tintor batted .285 in 116 games, smacking 12 home runs, and driving in 54 runs.
Aces Up: While the Snappers did have some key offensive players on their team, it is clearly obvious that it was their arms that led them to the playoffs. Beloit boasted the best pitching staff in the Midwest League in 2006, and some of their pitchers even went on to further success at higher levels throughout the season. Pino (14-2), Eduardo Morlan (5-5, 2.29), Alexander Smit (7-2, 2.99), Brian Duensing (2-3, 2.94), Kyle Waldrop (6-3, 3.85), and Oswaldo Sosa (9-7, 2.75), all helped anchor a staff that got a shot in the arm when the Twins acquired Zach Ward (8-4, 3.06). Though Ward struggled with the Snappers, he still was a great addition to the team, as well as the organization.
The Snappers were one of four affiliate teams to make the post-season this season. With a strong core of players coming up from Elizabethton, who lost in the Appalachian League finals, the Snappers should once again be alive in the playoff run next season. As for those who are leaving Beloit, you should see the majority of them in either Fort Myers, or possibly even New Britain next season.