Stewart, Soto take Tigers honors

Outfielder, left-hander named Minor League Player, Pitcher of Year

Christin Stewart also led the Eastern League with 60 extra-base hits and 243 total bases in 136 games. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | September 27, 2017 7:02 PM

For the second season in a row, Christin Stewart's powerful bat leads the Tigers farm system.

Detroit on Wednesday named the club's seventh-ranked prospect its Minor League Player of the Year, while left-hander Gregory Soto earned Pitcher of the Year honors.

"All of us in the Tigers player development system are proud to recognize Christin and Gregory for their outstanding 2017 seasons," Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said in a statement. "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."

Stewart came out swinging, slugging 16 of his Eastern League-leading 28 homers in the first half of the season. The 23-year-old led the organization and the circuit in homers while pacing all Tigers Minor Leaguers with 86 RBIs for Double-A Erie. Stewart also collected a career-high 29 doubles.

Video: Stewart goes deep

"I am blessed with the opportunity," the 2015 first-round pick said in the statement. "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."

Playing full-season ball for the first time, Soto opened the year with a 28-inning scoreless streak in the Midwest League. The Tigers' No. 13 prospect went 12-2 with a career-best 2.25 ERA and 144 strikeouts against 65 walks over 124 innings in 23 starts for Class A West Michigan and Class A Advanced Lakeland. He ranked second in the system in wins, ERA and 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 [pitching] 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."

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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