The Kansas City Royals named their Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their respective affiliates today. The Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be announced during the offseason. All of the players honored are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, September 20, where they will take part in an autograph session at Gate A from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., as well as be honored in an on-field presentation prior to the Royals game against the Texas Rangers.
Left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer has been named the Omaha Pitcher of the Year. Dwyer finished with a 3.55 ERA in 159.2 innings pitched, making 29 regular season appearances (28 starts). The 25-year old held opponents to a .234 batting average and ranked 10th in the Pacific Coast League with 112 strikeouts. He represented Omaha at the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. The 2010 Wilmington Pitcher of the Year, Dwyer was Kansas City's fourth-round selection in the 2009 June Free Agent Draft.
Infielder Christian Colon was named the Omaha Player of the Year. The 24-year old batted .273 with 12 home runs, 58 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 131 games. Colon had an impressive second half, hitting .335 (56-for-167) while posting a .406 on-base percentage. He hit safely in 21 of his final 22 games. The Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year in 2012, Colon was Kansas City's first-round selection in the 2010 June Free Agent Draft.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (AA)
Right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks is the Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year. The 23-year old opened 2013 at Wilmington and was promoted to Northwest Arkansas in June, where he won three of his first four starts. Brooks finished 7-7 with a 4.17 ERA in 16 starts with Northwest Arkansas. He threw a complete game shutout on July 24, one of only six 9.0 inning shutouts this year in the Texas League. Brooks was Kansas City's ninth-round selection in 2011.
First baseman Matt Fields was named Northwest Arkansas' Player of the Year. The 28-year old led both the Texas League and the Royals minor league system with 31 home runs. He finished third in the league in RBI (87), while slugging .469. Fields earned Texas League All-Star honors and was the league's player of the month for June. Fields joined the Royals in 2012, signing as a free agent out of the Frontier League.
Left-handed pitcher Sam Selman was named Wilmington Pitcher of the Year. The 22-year old compiled an 11-9 record and a 3.38 ERA over 27 starts for the Blue Rocks. Selman carried a no-hitter through 8.0 innings in Wilmington's 11-inning win on August 24, striking out 11. Selman was the Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year after being selected in the second round of the 2012 June draft out of Vanderbilt University.
Outfielder Lane Adams is the Wilmington Player of the Year. The 23-year old Oklahoma native batted .276 with seven home runs, 39 RBI and 23 stolen bases for the Blue Rocks before a July promotion to Northwest Arkansas. Adams continued his success in Double-A, setting a club record with seven RBI and tying a team mark with three home runs on August 13. He was Kansas City's 13th-round selection in the 2009 June Free Agent Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Christian Binford has been named Lexington Pitcher of the Year. The 20-year old finished 8-7, ranking third in the South Atlantic League in ERA (2.67) and sixth in strikeouts (130). He held right-handed batters to a .218 average and set a career-high with 12 strikeouts over 6.0 shutout innings on July 28. He was Kansas City's 30th-round selection in 2011.
Shortstop Raul Mondesi is the Lexington Player of the Year. One of the youngest players in a full-season professional league, the 18-year old switch-hitter batted .261 with seven home runs, 47 RBI and 24 stolen bases. The son of 1994 N.L. Rookie of the Year Raul Mondesi, the younger Mondesi recorded two hits in two at-bats at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. He signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on his 16th birthday, July 27, 2011.
IDAHO FALLS (ROOKIE-ADVANCED)
Left-handed pitcher Patrick Conroy is the Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year old compiled a 6-2 record along with a 3.30 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 71.0 innings to help Idaho Falls reach the postseason. He finished second in the league in ERA, in a tie for third in wins and fourth in strikeouts. Conroy was a 32nd-round selection in 2012.
Third baseman Hunter Dozier has been named Idaho Falls Player of the Year. Kansas City's first-round selection this June, the 22-year old batted .303 with seven home runs, 43 RBI and 24 doubles in 54 games with the Chukars. Dozier's strong start as a professional resulted in an August promotion to Lexington, where he batted .327 in 15 games. On the year, Dozier hit .308 with 30 doubles, seven homers and 52 RBI in 69 games. He rejoined Idaho Falls for the postseason run.
Right-handed pitcher Luis Santos was named Burlington Pitcher of the Year in his first year with the Royals after being acquired from Pittsburgh last November. The 22-year old made seven starts for Burlington, going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 35 strikeouts over 40.0 innings. Santos held Appalachian League batters to a .226 average while recording three scoreless starts of at least 5.0 innings. He was promoted to Idaho Falls, where he was 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA.
Third baseman Mauricio Ramos is the Burlington Player of the Year. The 21-year old from Cartagena, Colombia, batted .322 with 24 RBI and 22 runs before an August promotion to Idaho Falls. 2013 was the third professional season for Ramos, who signed as a non-drafted free agent on August 26, 2010.
Right-handed pitcher Pedro Fernandez is the Surprise Royals Pitcher of the Year. The 19-year old from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic opened 2013 with the Dominican Royals, where he posted a 0.75 ERA over 12.0 innings. Fernandez joined Surprise in July and held Arizona League batters to a .215 average while recording a 1.82 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Fernandez signed with Kansas City as a non-drafted free agent on September 2, 2011.
First baseman/outfielder Samir Duenez has been named the Surprise Royals Player of the Year. The 18-year old batted .294 with 19 RBI, 26 runs and 12 doubles in his first professional season. A native of Catia La Mar, Venezuela, Duenez signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on July 7, 2012.
DOMINICAN ROYALS (ROOKIE)
Right-handed pitcher Yunior Marte was named Dominican Royals Pitcher of the Year. The 18-year old made 11 appearances and eight starts, finishing his first professional season at 4-3 with a 1.71 ERA and two saves. Marte held batters to a .229 average, recording 36 strikeouts and just nine walks over 47.1 innings. He currently resides in La Victoria, Dominican Republic.
Infielder Angelo Castellano is the Dominican Royals Player of the Year. The second-year professional batted .265 with 25 RBI, 30 walks and nine stolen bases in 67 games. Castellano excelled with runners in scoring position, recording a .379 average (25-for-66), including .476 (10-for-21) with two outs. The native of Venezuela signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 16, 2011.