Any Tigers fan that actually visits BYB.com should already know about MotownSports, the extremely popular fan forum covering Detroit sports (mostly Tigers). For those who don't -- I fully suggest it. Fan allegiances aside, MotownSports is one of the best fan forums I've seen on the web in regards to intelligent, rational posters.
Prior to every baseball season the posters at MTS get together and have an "Adopt-a-Tiger" draft. Members of the site "draft" any player in the Tigers organization and follow them throughout the season. It is a very good way to become familiar with obscure players buried deep in the farm system, and gives posters a reason to follow the Rookie, Low A, High A, AA and AAA clubs in addition to the Major League squad.
Having a relatively low "post-count" at MTS, I was forced to draft my player near the end of the list. Because of my spot on the list, I wasn't able to get any of the Major Leaguers, or any of the more popular prospects -- which I was totally fine with, considering I like to use the Adopt-a-Tiger to keep track of someone who isn't always in the news.
With a pick that came in the early nineties, I selected LHP Erik Averill to be my adopted Tiger for the 2007 season. Averill participated in his first full season of minor league ball for the Tigers organization last season, starting 28 games for the West Michigan Whitecaps -- the Tigers Low-A affiliate.
After being selected by the Tigers in the 20th round of the 2005 draft out of Arizona State University, Averill went on to pitch in 6 games for the GCL Tigers. In that season he had a 1-2 record with a fairly low 1.59 ERA. Of the 6 games he appeared in in 2005, Erik started 3. Last season he went on to have a 9-8 record for the Whitecaps, with a 3.73 ERA in 171 innings.
Stay tuned to BYB to keep up with Erik Averill this season. I should be posting a sidebar box focusing on his 2007 stats. I'm looking forward to it.