On Friday night, the KC Royals will be honoring their picks for Pitcher and Hitter of the Year for each of their minor league affiliates, with each player in attendance.
Over the next five days, I will be taking a look at the Royals picks and then making my own selections if I disagree with their picks.
Today, let’s take a look at the four Rookie levels, starting with the Pioneer League Champion Idaho Falls Chukars. The Chukars won their first title since 2000. Getting back Hitter of the Year Hunter Dozier for the final week and the postseason did not hurt.
The Royals top draft pick in June hit .303 for IF. When he returned for the final week, he only had one hitless game. With the Chukars, Dozier had 24 doubles and seven home runs in 54 games. He scored 43 runs and drove in 43 while batting third in the order. He also walked (35) more than he struck out (32).
Though Dozier was seen as a “saving money” pick for the Royals, he proved to be a VERY good choice. He was promoted to Low-A Lexington and did not disappoint. In 15 games, he hit .327 (18-for-55) with six doubles. He scored six runs and drove in nine. He only struck out five times.
Since the Legends were eliminated from the postseason, Dozier went back to IF and helped the team win a title. In the postseason, he went 9-for-24 (.375) and had at least one hit in each game. Four of his nine hits were doubles. In the first game of the PL Championship, he drove in the go ahead run. I am looking forward to seeing Dozier in person at some point during the 2014 season with High-A Wilmington.
Starter Patrick Conroy, a 2012 draft pick, was the lone left-handed pitcher on the end of season PL All-Star team. With IF, he was 6-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts). In 71 innings, he allowed 65 hits (three homers) and walked 33, while striking out 64. Those numbers earned him Pitcher of the Year honors.
Conroy‘s best start came on July 15th, when he allowed one run on six hits and one walk over eight innings. He struck out nine. Unfortunately, he struggled in the postseason, losing two games. On September 11th, he allowed two runs (though one run scored after he left) on five hits and four walks over 5.2 innings. He struck out four. Conroy also lost in the PL Finals in Game 2. Helena scored six runs on six hits and a walk in the first inning. Over the next five innings, Conroy allowed just one hit (6IP, 7H, 6R, BB, 3K).
Both of Burlington‘s honorees had great starts with the Royals before being promoted to IF to finish the season. Hitter of the Year Mauricio Ramos, who is in his third year in the farm system, hit .322 in 42 games. He hit 14 doubles and a triple while driving in 24 runs. After a promotion, he went 20-for-65 (.308) in 16 games.
Pitcher of the Year Luis Santos was 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in seven games with Burlington before his promotion. He had one complete game shutout in his first experience in the United States. In 40 innings, he allowed 33 hits and nine walks while striking out 35. With IF, Santos went 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three starts. Over 19.1 innings, he allowed nine hits and five walks while striking out 12.
In Surprise, third baseman Samir Duenez led the team with a .294 batting average in 47 games. He hit 12 doubles and two triples while driving in 19. He also scored 26 runs. Pitcher of the Year Pedro Fernandez went 0-1, but had just a 1.82 ERA in eight games (seven starts). Over 24.2 innings, he allowed 28 hits (three homers) and just eight walks. He struck out 38.
In the Dominican Summer League for the Royals, third baseman Angelo Castellano hit .265 in 67 games with eight doubles and 25 RBIs. He walked (30) more than he struck out (25). Yunior Marte took Pitcher of the Year honors, going 4-3 with a 1.71 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) with two saves. In 47.1 innings, he allowed 39 hits and just nine walks compared to 36 strikeouts.
Tune in tomorrow for the Hitter and Pitcher of the Year for the Low-A Lexington Legends.