Best Player: OF Christin Stewart
Stewart spent the entire season at Double-A Erie doing what you would expect him to do: mashing the ball while trying to develop his outfielder skills so he can be a serviceable left fielder some day.
The 2015 first-round pick from Tennessee hit .256/.335/.501 in 136 games at Erie. Sixty of his 136 hits were for extra bases and he drove in 86 runs.
“He has plus power and the ability to drive in runs,” assistant general manager David Chadd said. “He will need to continue to work on his overall play in the outfield, especially because of the spacious confines of Comerica Park.”
Best Pitcher: RHP Beau Burrows
Burrows struggled a bit at Erie after dominating in high Class A Lakeland, but he posted solid overall numbers.
The 2015 first-round from high school in Texas finished the season 10-7, 3.20 with a 1.24 WHIP and 137 strikeouts in 135 innings.
“He was a Double-A starter at the age of 20 with four average to plus pitches,” Chadd said. “His fastball works 92-97 mph with an average of 95, and he also features a slider and a changeup. His curveball showed a lot of improvement over the previous season.”
Keep An Eye On: RHP Bryan Garcia
It was a bit difficult to keep an eye on Garcia in 2017. He was constantly on the move as he worked his way up the minor league ladder.
A 2016 sixth-round pick from Miami, Garcia went 5-3, 2.13 with a 1.06 WHIP and 78 strikeouts in 55 innings this season while pitching for low Class A West Michigan, Lakeland, Erie and Triple-A Toledo. He made 52 appearances and had 15 saves.
“His quick rise through the minor leagues from A ball to Toledo in one season was impressive,” Chadd said. “He has closer potential and flashes two plus pitches in a fastball that he throws up to 97 (mph) and a power slider at 87 or 88. He is a strike-thrower and a fierce competitor.”