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Tigers extend contract with West Michigan Whitecaps through 2020

West Michigan looks to continue their investment into player development for Detroit with a two-year contract extension.

Emily Waldon

Comstock Park, MI -- West Michigan was given another reason to smile today with the announcement that baseball will remain in Comstock Park.

The Detroit Tigers confirmed their official agreement to extend their player development contact with the West Michigan Whitecaps through 2020 and Tigers Director of Minor League Operations, Dan Lunetta could not be more pleased.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership an additional two years, taking us to 2020," Lunetta said. "This all takes place because of several factors; first, our tremendous relationship with the Whitecaps ownership and front office; second, their continued commitment to providing a first class operation and an excellent environment for our players to develop; and third, wonderful and strong support from the community. It is a natural tie for the Tigers and Whitecaps to maintain a long-term commitment to one another and we are proud to continue our affiliation with the Whitecaps."

Following an impressive 2014 playoff campaign under first year head coach and Whitecaps alum, Andrew Graham, the Tigers can rest a little easier, knowing their crop of prospecting talent is resting in capable hands.

"They've given us great players and teams over the years, four of which have won the Midwest League championship," Whitecaps Vice President Jim Jarecki said. "This extension assures Tigers fans of seeing the best future talent of the Tigers."

Since the creation of the partnership between the two programs in 1997, West Michigan has witnessed some of its finest talent, including Alex Avila, Andy Dirks and Nick Castellanos cycle through Fifth Third Ballpark, giving the community a personal connection to their franchise.

Andrew Graham is set to return to the helm for the Whitecaps, alongside pitching coach, Mark Jackson and the newly acquired Phil Clark, who will be serving as the hitting coach for 2015.

The 2015 Whitecaps season will kick off at home on Thursday, April 9 at 6:35 p.m. against the Dayton Dragons.