2011 TigsTown Awards: Connecticut Tigers
This story originally published on TigsTown.com
Brennan Smith
Posted Nov 2, 2011

Moving on with the 2011 awards, we move to the short-season clubs, starting with the Connecticut Tigers. Who shined at the plate and on the mound in Connecticut?

Connecticut Tigers Player of the Year Award

OF Tyler Collins















Collins was the Tigers sixth round pick in June and after playing in the Texas Collegiate League, he starred for Connecticut in the summer’s second half. After a 1-for-3 performance in his pro debut with the GCL Tigers, Collins was promoted to Connecticut where he raked the entire time he was there. He posted a fantastic .313/.360/.534 in a notoriously pitcher-friendly league with big ball parks. “All respect to [Dean] Green, Collins was our difference maker in the second half,” said manager Andrew Graham. “He did a little of everything and really led by example with his all-out style of play in every game.” A little bit of everything is exactly what he did for the CT-Tigers. Collins knocked ten doubles, one triple and eight home runs in 42 games with 31 RBI. He walked ten times and struck out just 17, showing a remarkable approach in his pro debut. To top it all off, Collins stole six bases while being caught only once.

Connecticut Tigers Pitcher of the Year Award

RHP Brennan Smith















“[Smith] was outstanding from start to finish,” said Graham. “He struggled at a higher level early in the year. When he came back here, he just dominated. We don’t come that close to the playoffs without him.” In 14 starts with the Tigers, Smith posted a spectacular 1.53 ERA, finishing number one in the league among starters. He tossed two complete games including one shutout among his 94 innings of work. Despite underwhelming raw stuff, Smith allowed just 76 hits and three home runs, and walked only 19 batters. He added 66 strikeouts for a sound 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. “That kid just grows on you,” said an AL Scout in the NYPL. “He just goes out there and works hitters over. He’s got tremendous poise and a great approach to every batter. You walk away without thinking a ton of him the first time and by the end of the year, he stands out a little bit to you.”

Related Stories
Tigers Prospect Profile #9: Tyler Collins
 -by TigsTown.com  Mar 20, 2012
Oakland A’s 2011 Rule 5 Preview
 -by OaklandClubhouse.com  Oct 31, 2011
2011 Connecticut Tigers Season Recap
 -by TigsTown.com  Oct 28, 2011

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