Tigers hand out Minor League awards

Tigers hand out Minor League awards

OAKLAND -- Two of the Tigers' top picks from last year's Draft were rewarded for making an immediate impression in their first pro seasons.

Class A West Michigan third baseman Nick Castellanos and Double-A Erie left-hander Drew Smyly were named the Tigers Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

For Castellanos, it was a validation of the high regard he inherited as soon as he signed as Detroit's top selection last summer. He became the organization's top position prospect upon arrival, and his numbers didn't disappoint. After a slow start with the Whitecaps, Castellanos heated up in May and never cooled. The 19-year-old batted .312 with 36 doubles, seven home runs and 76 RBIs.

Smyly's award was a little different scenario. Though he was Detroit's second-round selection in that same Draft out of the University of Arkansas, he was further down the line among pitching prospects in an organization that includes Jacob Turner and Andy Oliver, among others. Statistically, Smyly topped them all.

The 22-year-old proved stingy in the Florida State League, going 7-3 with a 2.58 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 80 1/3 innings, before taking Turner's spot at Erie at the end of July.

Smyly went just 4-3 with the SeaWolves, but his 1.18 ERA in seven starts and a relief appearance made his case. Add up the totals at two different levels, and he allowed just two home runs over 126 innings with 130 strikeouts.