(This post was written by Tyler Stovall, one of Redleg Nation‘s Spotlight Players.)
Well I am finally back home in Cincinnati after a successful year in Billings, Montana. I’d like to thank everyone that has followed my progress this year, and I hope everyone enjoyed my posts. Well after a great start to the year, the Mustangs ran out of gas at the end of the year and were elminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Great Falls Voyagers (White Sox). On a quick sidenote, I was glad to see a former high school teammate at Moeller High School, Dan Remenowski, in the closers role for the Voyagers. Dan went to Otterbein College and was signed as an undrafted free agent this year and is proving that he deserved a shot by completely shutting down opposing hitters. Anyway, my first year of professional baseball has flown by and it couldn’t have been a better experience. I ended up hitting .333 on the year, which ranked second highest on our team. While I didn’t have enough at bats to qualify for league standings, I was very happy with the amount that I played this year, considering the amount of talent we had in Billings. I feel like the best way to really recap this season is to give out some postseason awards for the team, these are just for fun, but will give some good insight on our team. I will only include players that ended the season with the team, excluding guys that may have been called up to Dayton.
2008 Billings Mustangs Awards
Best Starting Pitcher- Leonardo Astorga– He did a great job for us this year, and really showed great intensity in our first playoff game, energizing the entire team. He recently had Tommy John surgery, so his velocity was not amazing, however he mixes pitches and hits spots.
Ã‚Â Best Relief Pitcher- Mike Bohana– Came in from the GCL after a call up and stepped right into the closer role for us. Had a cutter that was electric, especially against right handed hitters.
Ã‚Â Best Hitter- Alex Buchholz– One of the best pure swings I have played with. HasÃ‚Â great bat control, command of the strike zone and hits to all fields. Never tries to do too much, and just hits the ball where it is pitched. Has a level bat plane that allows him to hit line drives and stay inside the ball, but still showed the ability to hit some longballs.
Ã‚Â Best Power- Tony Brown– Tony was only 20 years old and still managed to lead our team with 12 home runs this year. He is one of the most dedicated players on our team, always working with our hitting coach. I feel like Tony is still figuring out his swing, and when he does, he will be able to take the ball out of the park to all fields. He struggled a little bit with offspeed pitches, however I feel like he is determined to eliminate that weakness from his game.
Ã‚Â Best Defender- Miguel Rojas– Rojas has the best hands I have ever seen from an infielder. His exchange from glove to hand almost looks like some sort of magic trickÃ‚Â it is so quick. He quickly became a fan favorite in Billings for his diving plays and eccentric attitude. The best part about Miguel is that he is only 19, and while he didn’t hit exceptionally well for us this year, he did make progress with his swing and the more games he plays, the better he will get.
Well that about wraps up the season recap for the Mustangs. I made some great friendships this summer, and can’t wait to see most of the guys in spring training next year. Thanks again to everyone that has followed this blog.