DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced that outfielder Christin Stewart and lefthanded pitcher Gregory Soto have been named the 2017 Tigers Minor League Player and Pitcher of the year, respectively.
“All of us in the Tigers player development system are proud to recognize Christin and Gregory for their outstanding 2017 seasons,” said Tigers Vice President of Player Development Dave Littlefield. “It’s a great accomplishment to stand out in what has become a formidable farm system, and they did just that. Tigers fans have every reason to be excited for these players’ bright futures.”
This marks the second year in a row that Stewart has been named the Detroit Tigers Player of the Year. In 136 games at Double A Erie, Stewart hit .256 (124×485) with 86 RBI, 67 runs scored and an Eastern League best 28 home runs. He finished the season in the top five of most Eastern League offensive categories, including home runs (28, 1st), RBI (86, 3rd), doubles (29, T-4th) and slugging percentage (.501, 5th).
“I am blessed with the opportunity,” Stewart said. “I played with a great group of guys and performed to the best of my ability and had success. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches that pushed me along the way.”
Soto excelled at Single A West Michigan, carrying a 10-1 record with a 2.25 ERA (96.0IP/24ER) and 116 strikeouts, while holding opposing hitters to a .204 batting average over 18 starts. His performance earned him a call-up to Single A Lakeland on August 4, where he continued stifling hitters, going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA (28.0IP/7ER) and 28 strikeouts.
“Not everyone gets the chance to win an award like this, so to me it just shows the benefit of hard work,” Soto said. “I want to thank my coaches, especially Coach (Jorge) Cordova, who consistently worked with me since I arrived in January. Although I had my ups and downs this year, I thank God that I was able to finish strong.”