Tonight, the KC Royals will be honoring all of their minor league affiliates Pitcher and Hitter of the Year. Their day started with a visit to the University of Kansas Hospital and then to the Negro League Museum. The group will also be signing autograph inside the gates at Kauffman Stadium before being honored in a pregame ceremony.
Today I will be looking at the Players of the Year at Low-A Lexington.
The Legends relied on their pitching all season long, but it was not enough to get them into the postseason.
Pitcher of the Year Christian Binford was a major reason the Legends competed all season long. Take away two of his final three starts and his numbers would have been pretty amazing.
Overall, Binford was 8-7 with a 2.67 ERA in 23 starts. In 135 innings, he allowed 129 hits (seven home runs) and just 25 walks. He struck out 130.
Only four of his 23 starts were less than five inning outings and two of those were over the final two weeks of the season. Binford had six or more strikeouts in a game 14 times. He allowed two runs or less 15 times. He struck out a season-high 12 batters over six scoreless innings on July 28th. Not bad for a 30th round pick in 2011 who had to be lured away from a commitment to the University of Virginia.
I didn’t have a chance to see Binford pitch this season, though I kept hoping he would be promoted. He wasn’t, but he should anchor a pretty good rotation in High-A Wilmington in 2014.
I did have a chance to see Lexington’s Hitter of the Year Raul Mondesi back in May. The shortstop was just 17 years old and struggling with the bat, but his defense looked good.
He made some adjustments at the plate to hit .272 in the month of June, but he really took off in July. Mondesi hit .305 with four doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He also cut down on his strikeouts (19) and walked more (13). He hit a brick wall in August (.227 with 21 strikeouts in 26 games), but that is to be expected from a young guy who is just 6’1 and 165 pounds.
Overall, Mondesi hit .261 in 125 games. He hit 13 doubles, seven triples, and seven home runs. He scored 66 runs and drove in 47. He also showed off his speed by stealing 24 bases. The strikeouts are a concern for the top of the order hitter (118 K’s in 487 at-bats).
I am looking forward to seeing Mondesi man shortstop in 2014 for Wilmington.
Tune in on Saturday for a look at the High-A Wilmington Pitcher and Hitter of the Year.