Friday, February 18, 2011

BBM Winter Awards LMP MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Justin Christian, Los Mochis Caneros

Not a lot was expected out of Justin Christian when he came to Los Mochis last October. Yes, the 30-year-old Nebraskan had carved a niche over eight seasons in the Yankees system as a guy who could play all three outfield positions and second base while adding speed to the lineup, but nobody expected him to become the impact player he was for the Caneros. And was he ever an impact player!

Christian ended up hitting .356 for the Caneros to finish third in the Mexican Pacific League batting title chase while leading the Mex Pac with 60 runs scored and 24 stolen bases, tying for the lead with a .452 on-base percentage and even finishing fourth in the circuit with a .561 slugging percentage. Batting leadoff, Christian served as a catalyst for a potent Mochis offense that featured power hitters Sandy Madera and Ramon Orantes, who saw a lot of fastballs at the plate because pitchers had to respect Christian’s presence on the basepaths as the Caneros finished near the top of the league in homers, steals, batting and runs.

Despite hitting just .190 in the playoffs for Mochis, Christian was added to the Obregon roster in the Caribbean Series, where he hit .259 and tied with Caguas’ Alex Cora for the lead in runs scored with seven. He signed a free agent minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants on February 6 for his efforts.