Giavotella, Herrera win Minor League Awards

Giavotella, Herrera win Minor League Awards

Giavotella, Herrera win Minor League Awards
KANSAS CITY -- Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella and pitcher Kelvin Herrera reached the Major Leagues this year, and now they'll have awards to commemorate how they did it.

Giavotella was named the George Brett Hitter of the Year and Herrera was named Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year on Thursday by the Royals as the top players in the Minor League organization for 2011. Giavotella had a .338 average and led all of the Minors with 153 hits for Triple-A Omaha. Herrera, a reliever, had a combined 7-1 record with 14 saves and a 1.60 ERA in 45 games for Omaha, Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Class A Wilmington.

On Aug. 5, Giavotella became Kansas City's regular second baseman and had a .247 average in 46 games. On Sept. 21, Herrera was promoted to KC and made two relief appearances.

They will be honored at the Royals Awards Luncheon on Jan. 11 at the Overland Park (Kan.) Convention Center. They'll be joined by the winners of the Royals' previously announced Major League awards -- Alex Gordon, Bruce Chen and Eric Hosmer. Ticket information will be announced soon.

Other award winners announced on Thursday:

Anthony Seratelli, as Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year. Seratelli stole 35 bases in 40 attempts for Northwest Arkansas. He was also the Naturals' Player of the Year.

Lorezno Cain, as Frank White Defensive Player of the Year. Cain ranged all over center field for Omaha and had 13 assists, second most in the league.

Tim Melville, the Mike Sweeney Award for best representing the organization on and off the field. Melville volunteered for numerous hospital, community and charity events while notching an 11-10 record for Wilmington.

Mike Jirschele, as Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year. Jirschele led Omaha to the Pacific Coast League title and also won his 1,000th game as manager.

Orlando Estevez, as Art Stewart Scout of the Year. Under Estevez, the Royals have strengthened their Latin American talent pool by signing such players as Herrera and catcher Salvador Perez.

Eric Edelstein, the Matt Minker Award to an outstanding Minor League employee. As Northwest Arkansas general manager, he has overseen the Naturals' success at Springdale, Ark., since moving from Wichita.

Lois Lakey, the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award to an outstanding member of the community. "Grandma Lois" is the lone full-time volunteer in the intensive care unit for babies at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.