Royals announce 2016 Minor League award winners

The Kansas City Royals honored nine individuals with minor league awards for the 2016 season, today at the club's Spring Training complex in Surprise, Ariz.

Honorees included:

Jake Junis, recipient of the Paul Splittorff Award - recognizes the top minor league pitcher in the organization. Junis, 24, was named Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year in 2016, going 9-7 for the Naturals with a 3.25 ERA, third best in the Texas League. He also earned midseason and postseason All-Star honors and pitched a spotless inning in the Texas League All-Star Game. Junis was promoted to Omaha (AAA) on Aug. 8, and finished the season with the Storm Chasers. He was selected in the 29th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Nick Heath, recipient of the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year - recognizes the top baserunner in the organization. Heath, 23, led the Pioneer League with 36 stolen bases in 2016, 10 more than anyone else. His 36 steals ranked third among Royals farmhands. Heath hit .291 (67-for-230) with Idaho Falls in his pro debut, after being selected in the 16th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.

Yender Cáramo, recipient of the Carlos Fortuna Award - recognizes a player who is dedicated to improving his English, work ethic and conduct. Cáramo, 25, spent the majority of 2016 with Northwest Arkansas (AA), going 5-7 with a 2.45 ERA (31 ER in 114.0 IP) in 34 outings (10 starts). He led the Texas League in ERA and ranked second in WHIP (1.09) and walks per 9.0 innings (1.82). Cáramo was signed as a non-drafted free agent on Nov. 22, 2010.

Logan Moon, recipient of the Mike Sweeney Award - recognizes a player who best represents the organization on and off the field. Moon, 25, spent the entire 2016 season with Northwest Arkansas (AA), where he hit .254 (89-for-351) in 107 games. A 2010 graduate of Blue Springs South High (Mo.), Moon was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

Hunter Dozier, recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year - recognizes the top position player in the organization. Dozier, 25, hit .296/.366/.533 between Omaha (AAA) and Northwest Arkansas (AA), setting career highs in runs (79), hits (144), doubles (44) home runs (23) and RBI (75) in 2016 while earning Omaha Player of the Year honors. Dozier made his Major League debut on Sept. 12 and recorded his first hit on Sept. 15. He was selected in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Cameron Gallagher, recipient of the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award - recognizes the organization's top defensive player. Gallagher, 24, spent the entire season with Northwest Arkansas (AA), where he played in 91 games, including 79 starts at catcher. He led Texas League catchers in total chances (713), putouts (648), assists (62), double plays (nine) and caught stealing percentage (.476, 30-of-63). Gallagher was added to the Royals' 40-man roster on Nov. 18. He was selected in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Justin Cole, General Manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA), was the recipient of the Matt Minker Award - recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee. In 2016, Cole completed his sixth season in his current role with Northwest Arkansas. The club has appeared in the Texas League Championship Series in each of the last two seasons.

Vance Wilson, Manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA), was the recipient of the Dick Howser Award - recognizing the organization's most outstanding player development person. Wilson has spent the last eight seasons in the Royals' organization, including the last three in his current role. He has led Northwest Arkansas to the Texas League Championship Series in each of the last two seasons.

Mitch Webster, Special Assignment Scout, was the recipient of the Art Stewart Award - recognizing the organization's most outstanding scout. Webster is in his eighth year in the Royals' organization following a 19-year professional career. He becomes the second person to win the Art Stewart Award twice, after previously receiving the honor in 2013.