The Detroit Tigers Minor League affiliates seasons are now officially in the books. With another season completed, the time has come for me to announce the 2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Star Team.
In an effort to reward less talked about prospects, only players that did not receive a call-up to Detroit this season were eligible. While you may recognize some of the names, remember these awards aren’t a pronouncement of the Tigers top prospects. The awards were based heavily upon the best overall statistical season per position.
Similar to previous years, the breakdown of the roster will consist of one player per position, a designated hitter, five starting pitchers and five relievers.
2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Star Team: LHP Kenny Faulk
TEAM: Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers
STATS: 52 2/3 IP 2-5 2.56 ERA 1.23 WHIP 8.5 H/9 2.6 BB/9 11.4 K/9 0.5 HR/9
The Detroit Tigers selected southpaw reliever Kenny Faulk in the 16th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Kennesaw State University. As a senior he earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors after going 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA. In 42 2/3 innings of work Faulk racked up an impressive 56 strikeouts.
After signing in 2009, Faulk reported to the Oneonta Tigers of the New York-Pennsylvania League. Faulk accumulated 2 wins with an ERA of 2.83 and racked up 28 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. He was also named to the NYP Mid-Season All-Star team that season.
In 2010–his first full season of pro-ball–Faulk was 5-4 with 12 saves, a 2.16 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings at Low-A West Michigan. He did not allow a home run the entire season and did not allow single a run from July through September.
The 6′, 210 pound, 24-year-old was the closer for the Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers for the 2011 season.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS:
Faulk has consistently been a lock down late inning reliever for the Tigers Minor League Affiliates. He has hovered at or above a strikeout per inning and limited his walks. He also keeps the ball in the yard–just 6 home runs in 139 2/3 career innings. He handles lefties better, .155 to .293 which perhaps profiles him as a LOOGy down the road. Regardless, for a guy who has received virtually no hype, Faulk impressed the hell out of me last season. I was very impressed with his ability to pound the strike zone and attack FSL batters last season too. His outstanding performance earned him a Mid-Season FSL All-Star nod. His 10 pitch, three strikeout performance there in Clearwater penciled him in to a bullpen spot on my All-Star Team.
Best case scenario I think Faulk breaks in as a solid seventh inning reliever or quality LOOGy. Like most lower round picks he’ll have to continue to post solid numbers at every stop to prove that he belongs with the big boys though. I like what I saw from Faulk on a regular basis in Lakeland last season. He has heart and lacks fear on the hill, which is exactly what you need to be successful in the show!
I expect Faulk to begin the 2012 season in the AA-Erie bullpen. Congratulations to Kenny Faulk for an outstanding season!
2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Stars
Next Up: The Bullpen