Royals name players, pitchers of the year for minor league affiliates

Eight position players and eight pitchers in the Kansas City Royals' minor leaguesystem have been cited as the best performers at their respective affiliates, the team announced Tuesday.

All 16 prospects will be recognized at Futures Night on Sept. 29 atKauffman Stadium.

The honorees:


Player of the year: Frank Schwindel, IF, 25. He set career highs in doubles (43), home runs (23) and RBIs (97) in 133 games between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, leading Royals farmhands in doubles and RBIs. His 43 doubles also ranked tied for second in all of minor league baseball. He recorded a hit in 47 of his last 50 games, including three double-digit-game streaks, the longest of which lasted a team-high-tying 18 games from July 15-Aug;. 1. Schwindel was selected in the 18th round of the 2013 draft.

Pitcher of the year:Jakob Junis, RHP, 25. Junis previously was named pitcher of the year with Northwest Arkansas in 2016. He went 3-5 with a 2.92 ERA in 12 starts, recording 86 strikeouts and just 15 walks. He matched a career high with 12 strikeouts in 7.0 innings May 26 at Nashville, tying the Omaha record (since 1998). He made his major league debut April 12 vs. Oakland. In 31 appearances (27 starts) between both levels, hes 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA, including eight big-league wins. Junis was the Royals 29th-round pick in 2011.


Player of the year:Donnie Dewees, OF, 23. He hit .272 with 24 doubles and a career-high nine home runs in 126 games, and ranked tied for third among Texas League players in triples (six), sixth in stolen bases (20) and ninth in runs (67). He played 107 games in center field (104 starts), second most in the league, and made just two errors in 340 chances (.994 fielding percentage). Dewees was acquired via trade from the Chicago Cubs on February 8, 2017.

Pitcher of the year:Foster Griffin, LHP, 22. He went 11-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 18 starts following a promotion from Wilmington and ranked tied for second in the Texas League in wins, despite not making his Double-A debut until May 30. His 15 wins between both levels were the most by a Royals farmhand since Jake Odorizzi won 15 between Omaha and Northwest Arkansas in 2012. He was named a Carolina League All-Star for his efforts prior to his promotion and was selected to the 2017 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami. Griffin was the Royals first-round pick (28th overall) in 2014.


Player of the year:Nicky Lopez, SS, 22. He hit .295 with a .376 on-base percentage in 70 games before his promotion to Northwest Arkansas on June 26. He was named a Carolina League midseason All-Star after being named an Appalachian League postseason All-Star in 2016. Lopez was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

Pitcher of the year:Richard Lovelady, LHP, 22. He went 1-0 with seven saves, a 1.08 ERA and 41 strikeouts to just four walks in 21 appearances, earning Carolina League All-Star honors before his promotion to Northwest Arkansas on June 26. His 1.62 ERA between both levels ranked first among Royals farmhands (minimum 60.0 innings pitched) and his 10 saves ranked second. Lovelady was selected in the 10th round in2016.


Player of the year:Emmanuel Rivera, 3B, 21. He hit .310/.364/.468 to lead the South Atlantic League in batting average and hits, and ranked fifth in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His 27 doubles, 12 home runs and team-leading 72 RBIs marked career highs. His career year earned him league postseason All-Star honors. Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico, was the Royals 19th-round pick in2015.

Pitcher of the year:Jace Vines, RHP, 23. He went 9-5 with a 3.42 ERA in 19 appearances (14 starts), earning South Atlantic League midseason All-Star honors before his promotion to Wilmington on Aug. 28. He recorded a scoreless streak of 25 innings that began April 17 and extended through the third inning of his start May 14. In 27 outings (22 starts) overall, his 12 wins ranked second among Royals minor leaguers. Vines was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft.


Player of the year:Robby Rinn, 1B, 24. He hit .355/.429/.511 with 30 extra-base hits and 59 RBIs in 69 games for the Chukars and ranked among the Pioneer League leaders in hits (first), doubles (22, first), runs (58, tied for second) and RBIs (tied for third). He had a 21-game hitting streak from July 29-Aug. 27, one shy of the Pioneer Leagues longest this season. His efforts earned him both midseason and postseason All-Star honors. Rinn was the Royals 25th-round pick in 2016.

Pitcher of the year:Janser Lara, RHP, 21. In his first season stateside, he went 4-2 with a 4.13 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 12 appearances (10 starts), earning Pioneer League midseason All-Star honors. Lara was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 3, 2015.


Player of the year:Michael Gigliotti, OF, 21. He hit .329/.442/.477 in 42 games and ranked among Appalachian League leaders in on-base percentage (third), stolen bases (15, third), walks (32, third) and batting average (sixth) despite being promoted to Lexington on Aug. 9. The first-year player was named to the Appalachian League postseason All-Star team. Gigliotti was the Royals fourth-round pick in the 2017 Draft.

Pitcher of the year:Sal Biasi, RHP, 21. After starting his season with four appearances for Surprise, he went 3-2 with a 2.44 ERA and .186 opponents average in nine outings (seven starts) with Burlington. Biasi was selected in the 11th round of the 2017 draft.


Player of the year:Nick Pratto, 1B, 18. He hit .247 with 22 extra-base hits and 34 RBIs in 52 games and ranked first among Arizona League players with five sacrifice flies. The first-year player had a 16-game on-base streak from July 22-Aug. 13 in which he had a .380 on-base percentage. Pratto was the Royals first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2017 draft.

Pitcher of the year:Charlie Neuweiler, RHP, 18. He went 3-3 with a 1.76 ERA and .192 opponents average in 12 appearances (five starts) and would have led the Arizona League in ERA but fell fourinnings shy of qualifying. Neuweiler was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.


Player of the year:Rubendy Jaquez, IF, 18. He hit .267 with a .362 on-base percentage and led the team in games (62), at-bats, stolen bases (19) and total bases (71). He made starts at first base (20) and second base (39), committing just four errors in 371 chances (.989 fielding percentage). Jaquez was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on Sept. 7, 2015.

Pitcher of the year: Delvin Capellan, RHP, 18. The first-year player went 3-2 with a 0.48 ERA and 48 strikeouts to just three walks in 12 starts and finished the season with a 27-inning scoreless streak. In the 49-year history of the Royals organization, his ERA was the best single-season mark among farmhands (minimum 50 innings pitched). Capellan signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 6, 2016.