On Monday evening, VFLs Christin Stewart and A.J. Simcox celebrated a 3-2 West Michigan Whitecaps victory over Cedar Rapids, clinching a Midwest League Championship title in their first-ever season of professional baseball.
As Detroit's No. 10 prospect, Stewart finished the season with a .285 combined average between the Gulf Coast League Tigers, Connecticut Tigers and West Michigan Whitecaps. He recorded seven triples and 10 home runs on the year, including a four-hit night to send the Whitecaps into the postseason on Sept. 15.
Simcox joined Stewart and West Michigan's club in mid-August and hit .400 over 20 games with the Whitecaps, including three doubles and a home run. Splitting time between Detroit's GCL, Connecticut and West Michigan affiliates, the Knoxville native hit .415 against right-handed pitchers and also had a four-hit performance against Lansing on Sept. 14 to help West Michigan secure a playoff berth.
On the Major League circuit, VFL and 2015 Pacific Coach League MVP Matt Duffy was called up by his Houston Astros this month and made his MLB debut on Sept. 16, playing third base against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Prior to his call-up, Duffy had played a team-high 124 games with Triple A Fresno with 102 RBI and 90 runs scored, leading Triple A baseball in both categories. Drafted by Houston in the 20th round of the June 2011 Major League Draft, Duffy had played nearly 600 minor league games, making the opportunity that much more special.