Year in Review: West Michigan Whitecaps

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first of four season reviews of the Tigers full season affiliates. Who were West Michigan's best performers?

Last week on twitter, I briefly touched upon every Tigers affiliate, and pointed out the prospects' statistics on the season. This exercise, however, is to give credit to the best performers of each team. It's difficult to give awards to certain players who split time with respective teams. For instance, Devon Travis played 77 games with WMI and 55 with Lakeland. It's difficult to give him a POY award for either team. However, he is certainly eligible for the overall POY award, and the multiple levels" POY and pitcher of the year, which will be featured in the last segment of this series. Unfortunately, minor league players move around, and if someone is performing extremely well at one level, they may move to another. Without further adieu, let's get started.

Just a reminder, these awards are not "best prospect" based. If Mike Cervanak hit for a 1.250 OPS for Toledo, he'd have won their POY award.

Pitcher of the year: Jordan John, 11-4 111 IP 107 H 36 ER 32 BB 89 K 1.25 WHIP 2.92 ERA

John had an outstanding year for West Michigan, carving up less experienced hitters with his advanced pitchability. He locked up the award with his last start, going 6 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 13 K. To be honest, I thought that with Jordan's age, college experience, and performance against Low-A hitters that he'd earn a call up to Lakeland this year, however, that wasn't in the cards. I would pencil him into Lakeland's rotation for next season. John had a few relief appearances, piggy backing on Jeff Thompson's starts to limit both of their innings. I'd imagine that he won't be on a limit during next season, and provided he stays healthy, you could see 150+ IP out of him. He ranked 27th on my midseason prospect list.

Player of the year: Jeff Holm, .270/.344/.397/.741 15 2B 8 3B 9 HR 74 RBI 56 R 16 SB

Since Devon Travis isn't eligible for this award, and Danry Vasquez was traded midseason, Jeff Holm takes home the player of the year. While there weren't a lot of excellent options for West Michigan offensively, Jeff managed to put up solid numbers playing 1B and LF. Holm is a 24 year old left handed hitter, who the Tigers drafted in the 2011 draft in the 12th round out of Michigan State University. He was limited to 46 games last year, but performed admirably in the 2013 campaign. With the logjam at 1B/DH in the lower minors, it's possible that Holm may start in WMI again in 2014, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him play some at Lakeland next season. The 8 triples and 16 stolen bases suggest that Holm is a decent athlete. While I don't believe he can play LF with any regularity at the major league level, it's nice to have someone who can fill in at the minor league level at different positions. He was an important to West Michigan's success this season. Jeff also made the midwest league all star team this season.

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