Royals Awards winners announced

Royals Awards winners announced

KANSAS CITY -- The lineup is all set, from Mike Aviles through Kila Ka'aihue.

No, not for the Royals' opener. This is for the revival of Kansas City's baseball dinner, now called Royals Awards Night.

Aviles will receive the Les Milgram Award as the Royals Player of the Year. That's already been announced. So has Joakim Soria as the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year and Zack Greinke for the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award.

But there will be other awards for the dinner at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 16, at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel in Overland Park, Kan. Tickets, $75 each or $750 for a table of 10, are available online at or by calling 816-504-4040.

Here are the other winners:

• Matt Minker Award for an outstanding Minor League affiliate employee -- Chris Kemple, general manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks since 1993 and a five-time Carolina League executive of the year winner.

• Art Stewart Award for an outstanding scout -- Dan Ontiveras, who in his first year with the Royals was responsible for the drafting of left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery.

• Dick Howser Award for an outstanding member of player development -- Brian Rupp, who managed the Burlington Bees to the Midwest League title in 2008, including a 6-0 record in the playoffs.

• Mike Sweeney Award for a player who best represents the organization on and off the field -- Everett Teaford, a Wilmington pitcher who had an 8-6 record and was part of every hospital appearance, baseball camp and outside event involving a Blue Rock player.

• Willie Wilson Base Runner of the Year for the organization's top baserunner -- Derrick Robinson, who stole 62 bases in 79 attempts for Wilmington to lead the Carolina League.

• Frank White Defensive Player of the Year for the organization's top defensive player -- Jeff Bianchi, who had just two errors in 75 games as Wilmington's second baseman and just seven total errors in 104 games.

• Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year for the organization's top pitcher -- Daniel Cortes, who was 9-4 with a 3.98 ERA in 22 starts for Northwest Arkansas and was a Texas League all-star.

• George Brett Hitter of the Year for the organization's top hitter -- Ka'aihue, a first baseman who banged a total of 37 homers and had 100 RBIs and a .314 average for Northwest Arkansas and Omaha.

• Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award for an outstanding member of the community -- Patti Lewis, founder and director of Alexandra's House, a perinatal hospice.

There's still one to go: the Ewing Kauffman Mr. Baseball Award which will be announced at the dinner.

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