The Kansas City Royals have named their Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their respective affiliates. The Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be announced during the offseason.
All of the players will be at Kauffman Stadium on Sept. 25 for Futures Night, where they will take part in an autograph session and be honored in an on-field presentation prior to the Royals-Indians game.
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Scott Alexander has been named the Omaha Pitcher of the Year. The left-hander posted a 2.56 ERA in 41 relief appearances for the Storm Chasers this season. He was 2-3 and recorded 14 saves, which tied for seventh in the Pacific Coast League. He also held the opposition to a .209 batting average, which included holding lefties to a .140 average (12-for-86) with one extra-base hit. Alexander had his contract selected by the Royals on Sept. 1 and made his major league debut the following night vs. Detroit. He was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2010 June Free Agent Draft.
Outfielder Jose Martinez has been named the Omaha Player of the Year. Martinez signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent this offseason. He led the Pacific Coast League with a .384 batting average, also collecting 25 doubles, three triples, 10 homers and 60 RBIs. He also finished as the league leader in on-base percentage (.461) and ranked third in slugging (.563) for a league-best (1.024) OPS. Martinez batted .393 (84-for-214) with 16 doubles, two triples and six homers after coming back from an injury on July 4. He was also named PCL Player of the Week on Aug. 24.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (AA)
Left-handed pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic has been named the Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year. The southpaw went 10-6 with a 3.12 ERA (48 earned runs in 138 1/3 innings) with 35 walks and 93 strikeouts in 25 starts (26 overall outings) with the Naturals. His 10 victories tied for third most in the Texas League, while his ERA ranked third among qualifying hurlers in the league. He tossed a seven-inning complete game at Tulsa on June 12 in a 6-4 win, the first complete game of his professional career. Dziedzic was named a Texas League postseason All-Star, following the end of the Double A regular season.
First baseman Balbino Fuenmayor was named the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year. He hit .354 (103-for-291) with 22 doubles, a triple, 15 homers and 51 RBIs in 73 games for the Naturals, before being promoted to Omaha on July 4. He hit .377 in 16 games for the Storm Chasers before suffering a season-ending injury. He was one of the most decorated minor leaguers in the Royals' organization this year, starting the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game for the World Team. He was also a midseason and postseason All-Star in the Texas League as well as the league's Player of the Month for May.
Right-hander Alec Mills was named Wilmington Pitcher of the Year. He posted a 7-7 record with a 3.02 ERA (38 earned runs in 113 1/3 innings) in 21 starts for the Blue Rocks this season. His ERA ranks fourth in the Carolina League among qualifying pitchers, while he is fourth in strikeouts (111) and seventh in WHIP (1.20). He was named a Carolina League All-Star and also tabbed the league's June Player of the Month by MILB.com. The righty was 3-0 with a 0.99 ERA with four walks and 28 strikeouts in his five June starts. Mills was selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 June Free Agent Draft.
Infielder Mauricio Ramos has been tabbed Wilmington Player of the Year. Ramos hit .265 (124-for-468) with 22 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 59 RBIs in 123 games with the Blue Rocks. He was named the Carolina League Player of the Week on July 6, hitting .565 (13-for-23) with three doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs the previous week. He batted .302 (26-for-86) in June and .333 (34-for-102) during July. Ramos was previously named the Burlington (Rookie) Player of the Year in 2013. He originally signed with the Royals' organization as a non-drafted free agent in 2010.
Right-handed pitcher Pedro Fernandez was selected as the Lexington Pitcher of the Year. He posted a 6-2 mark with a 3.12 ERA in 18 appearances and 13 starts for the Legends, before being promoted to Wilmington. He collected 89 strikeouts in 78 innings while holding opponents to a .191 batting average. He was named the Surprise Royals Pitcher of the Year in 2013.
Infielder Corey Toups has earned Lexington Player of the Year honors. The right-handed hitter batted .291 (113-for-388) with 27 doubles, five triples, seven homers and 75 runs scored in 102 games with the Legends. He recorded 31 steals, which tied for 10th in the South Atlantic League, while his .369 on-base percentage ranked 10th in the league.
IDAHO FALLS (Rookie)
Right-handed pitcher Derek Gordon has earned Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year honors. Gordon went 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 starts, allowing 18 walks with 65 strikeouts in 70 innings. His ERA ranked third in the Pioneer League, while he was also third in strikeouts, fifth in WHIP (1.30), while his 70 innings were fifth most in the league. Gordon signed as a minor league free agent with the Royals' organization this offseason after pitching for the Kansas City T-Bones in 2014.
Outfielder Amalani Fukofuka was tabbed the Idaho Falls Player of the Year. The right-handed hitter batted .339 (95-for-280) with 18 doubles, nine triples, three homers and 53 runs. His nine triples ranked second in the league, while his 53 runs scored tied for fourth. Fukofuka earned midseason and postseason All-Star accolades in the Pioneer League. He had a career-high five hits in the Aug. 30 game. He was selected by the Royals in the fifth round of the 2013 June Free Agent Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Jacob Bodner was named Burlington Pitcher of the Year. The 22-year-old pitched at both Burlington and Idaho Falls this season, going 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA and a .188 opponents' batting average in 16 appearances for the Rookie Burlington Royals. He walked just three hitters in 23 1/3 innings, for a 0.77 WHIP. Bodner is in his first season of professional baseball after being drafted in the 27th round of this year's June Free Agent Draft by the Royals out of Xavier University.
Catcher Xavier Fernandez has been tabbed Burlington Player of the Year. Prior to being promoted to Idaho Falls, Fernandez batted .329 (46-for-140) with 10 doubles, a triple, four homers and 27 RBIs in 42 games. He threw out 15 of 34 baserunners trying to steal against him (44 percent). He was originally drafted by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2013 June Free Agent Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.
Right-handed pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez was named Surprise Pitcher of the Year. The 19-year-old opened the year with the Dominican Summer League Royals and went 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 14 appearances (10 starts) with Surprise. He led the Arizona League in WHIP (0.97), while his seven wins were also tops in the league, earning postseason All-Star honors. Hernandez signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2013.
Outfielder Rudy Martin has been tabbed Surprise Player of the Year. He hit .338 (45-for-133) and tied for the league lead with nine triples. Martin also led the Arizona League in on-base percentage (.477) and tied for the most runs scored (41), earning postseason All-Star honors in the league. He was selected by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2014 June Free Agent Draft.
DOMINICAN ROYALS (DSL)
Left-handed pitcher Cristian Castillo was named the Dominican Royals Pitcher of the Year. Castillo posted a 2.67 ERA in 14 starts for the Royals, holding opponents to a .213 batting average and a 1.00 WHIP. He allowed just 15 walks and struck out 58 batters in 67 1/3 innings.
Shortstop Oliver Nunez earned Dominican Royals Player of the Year honors. The 20-year-old hit .306 (71-for-232) with nine doubles, five triples and one homer in 66 games in the Dominican. He scored 44 runs and recorded a .403 on-base percentage, drawing 39 walks.