Brooks, Whitfield among Royals Minor League award winners

Brooks, Whitfield among Royals Minor League award winners

KANSAS CITY -- Triple-A Omaha's Aaron Brooks and Whit Merrifield topped the Royals organizational awards, announced on Thursday.

Brooks and Merrifield took home Pitcher and Player of the Year honors, respectively, at Kansas City's highest level of the Minor Leagues.

Brooks' selection of Omaha Pitcher of the Year was buoyed by his 12-3 record for the Storm Chasers. His 12 wins tied for the second-most in the Pacific Coast League this season. The 25-year-old posted a 3.88 ERA in 25 games (23 starts). Brooks' Omaha honor comes a year after he grabbed Double-A Northwest Arkansas' Pitcher of Year award. The right-hander made a pair of appearances for Kansas City this season, allowing 13 runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Merrifield rode a .340 batting average (109-for-321) to his crowning of the Omaha Player of the Year. The outfielder slugged 41 doubles between Triple-A and Double-A. Twenty-eight of the two-baggers came with the Storm Chasers. Merrifield, the 2012 Player of the Year at Class A Advanced Wilmington, was named to the Texas League All-Star Game, but his promotion to Omaha forced him to miss it.

Northwest Arkansas (Double-A)

The Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year award went to Andy Ferguson, a 26-year-old right-hander. He served primarily as a starter for the Naturals (23 starts in 25 games) and sported an 11-10 record and a 2.93 ERA, fifth in the Texas League. Ferguson's 118 strikeouts ranked sixth in the league. His strong work at Northwest Arkansas earned Ferguson a promotion to Omaha during its postseason push.

Outfielder Lane Adams took home the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year award. Of the 14 award winners this season, Adams is the only one currently in the Majors. A solid season with the Naturals led to the promotion. He hit .269, and clubbed 25 doubles, three triples and 11 homers. Adams stole 38 bases with Northwest Arkansas, making him the third-most prolific base-stealer in the Texas League.

Wilmington (Class A Advanced)

Glenn Sparkman used some gaudy numbers at Wilmington to gain the Blue Rocks' Pitcher of the Year award. Sparkman produced a 1.56 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 29 outings (18 starts). His strikeout total (117) nearly matched his innings total (121), and he earned an additional accolade on Aug. 28: Carolina League Player of the Year.

Third baseman Hunter Dozier lived up to his lofty prospect status in his first full professional season, nabbing the Wilmington Player of the Year honor. Dozier, the Royals' first selection in the 2013 Draft and No. 4 prospect, batted .295 (66-for-224) with the Blue Rocks, adding 18 doubles, four homers and 39 RBIs in 66 games. He finished the season with Northwest Arkansas.

Lexington (Class A)

Jake Junis was named the Lexington Pitcher of the Year. In 26 appearances, including 22 starts, the 2011 29th rounder had a 4.30 ERA and 109 strikeouts. He finished near the top of the league with his 1.28 WHIP (10th) and 136 innings (13th).

Frank Schwindel slugged his way the to the Lexington Player of the Year award. The catcher/first baseman knocked out 29 doubles, two triples and 20 home runs for a .515 slugging percentage that ranked third among qualifying hitters in the South Atlantic League.

Idaho Falls (Rookie-Advanced)

One of the better stories in the Royals farm system, Torey Deshazier snagged the Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year honor. Deshazier is an undrafted free agent from Arkansas Baptist College. Despite his relatively obscure pedigree, Deshazier pitched his way to the award with a 5-3 record and a 3.17 ERA with the Chukars through Sept. 3.

2014 draftee Ryan O'Hearn wasted little time distinguishing himself in the organization, garnering the Idaho Falls Player of the Year accolade. His first professional season has featured a .361 batting average and a league-leading .590 slugging percentage. These numbers earned the first baseman the Pioneer League MVP Award on Aug. 30. The Royals took him in the eighth round of the Draft this year.

Burlington (Rookie)

Nik Stephenson was declared the Burlington Pitcher of the Year. Stephenson split time between Burlington and Lexington this season, but excelled most with the Rookie club. The 20-year-old posted a 2.14 ERA and held opponents to a .205 batting average in 32 appearances (eight starts) at Burlington.

Outfielder Logan Moon joined O'Hearn in nabbing awards following their freshman seasons at the professional ranks. Moon, drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft, won the Appalachian League batting title with a .332 average.

Dominican Royals (DSL)

Yimaury Pena and Meibrys Viloria took the Dominican Royals pitcher and player honors, respectively. Pena had a 2.67 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 12 starts (67 1/3 innings) with 55 strikeouts. Viloria, a catcher, hit .306, roped 13 extra base hits and posted a .383 on-base percentage.

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.