Tigers GM praises ex-Whitecap Bernard after MVP season

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Wynton Bernard went from San Diego Padre castoff to Midwest League MVP in about an eight-month span in 2014 -- and impressed the Tigers' front office in the process.

At Wednesday's Whitecaps Winter Banquet, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski praised the 24-year-old outfielder, who was placed on the team's 40-man MLB roster in late October. Bernard signed with Detroit after a Spring Training tryout last March.

"I don't think you can expect -- any time you sign a guy out of tryout camp in Spring Training -- what he did for us," Dombrowski said. "People that watch him play day in and day out figure he's a legitimate big-league prospect. We're happy to have him back. We put him on the big-league roster. If we didn't put him on the big-league roster, he had the ability to be a free agent, so we didn't wanna lose him. We like his talents a great deal."

Wynton and the rest of the Tigers' position players are due to report to Spring Training in Lakeland on February 23.

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