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Year in Review: Erie Seawolves

Erie ended up as the best Tigers minor league affiliate by record this season. Let's see who won their awards

Dave Reginek

Let's pick up where I left off with the year in review series with the Erie Seawolves. Erie was the only one of Detroit's 4 full season affiliates to make the playoffs. They finished with a 76-66 record, and boasted quite a few prospects that may be in Detroit fairly soon.

Player of the year: Daniel Fields

.284 .356 .435 .791 27 6 10 58 45 130 24

After scuffling through his first three years of minor league ball, Daniel broke through in his 2013 campaign and had a monster season. He filled up the stat sheet with 45 XBH, a 350+ OBP, and 24 SB. He was the most consistent offensive force on AA Erie, in a line up that boasts three other potential MLB players in Hernan Perez, Eugenio Suarez, and Tyler Collins. Tiger fans have been waiting for Fields' talent to break through, and no surprise, when he started to make more consistent contact, his numbers skyrocketed. Daniel played CF every day for Erie, although I don't think that will be the case if/when he makes the big club. I see him as a solid 4th OF for the Tigers in the future, predominantly in LF and some CF as well, especially if he is able to make adjustments to MLB pitching, and square the ball up often enough to let his tools shine. He should be competing for an extra OF spot this spring, but I'll bet he's at Toledo for most of next season, and gets a cup of coffee at some point after the trade deadline. By 2015, Daniel could be a perennial contender for an extra OF spot in Detroit.

Pitcher of the year: Warwick Saupold

7 6 129 124 51 82 1.36 3.28

This was Warwick's second season stateside, after coming over from Australia for the 2012 campaign. Saupold is a crafty right handed pitcher, standing 6'1 195. Saupold was the best hurler for Erie this season, and started every 5th day. He doesn't have much by the way of stuff, but features a bit of a control/command profile and guile. He'll have to tighten up all of his secondary offerings in order to succeed at the highest level, as well. Saupold only struck out 82 in 129 IP, which means he struggles to miss bats, even at the minor league level. I don't know if he has much of a major league future aside from an innings eating back end role, but if nothing else, he's an excellent organizational soldier for the Tigers. They have control over him for 4 more years in the minors, and he should bounce between AA and AAA, potentially making some emergency starts for the Tigers in that time frame.