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Royals unveil annual organizational awards

Moose recognized for earning AL Comeback Player honor
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Just before the Royals unveiled their annual organizational awards here on Tuesday morning, the club wanted to informally recognize a veteran player whom few thought would even be in attendance.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who signed a one-year deal with the Royals last weekend, was honored for two special achievements in 2017 -- the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award, and for breaking the franchise record for home runs with 38.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Just before the Royals unveiled their annual organizational awards here on Tuesday morning, the club wanted to informally recognize a veteran player whom few thought would even be in attendance.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who signed a one-year deal with the Royals last weekend, was honored for two special achievements in 2017 -- the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award, and for breaking the franchise record for home runs with 38.

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Moustakas stood and smiled as he received a nice ovation.

Then it was on to the organizational awards. Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of those, "This is a special celebration that brings the past and the present together. I think good families and good organizations recognize success and honor that."

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Here's a look at the winners:

• Shortstop Angelo Castellano was the recipient of the Carlos Fortuna Award, which recognizes a player who is dedicated to improving his English. Castellano, 23, played in 116 games at Class A Lexington in 2017 and batted .245 with 14 doubles and 43 RBIs.

• Left-hander Foster Griffin received the Paul Splittorff Award as the top Minor League pitcher. Griffin, 22, who is ranked as the club's No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline, went 15-7 with a 3.35 ERA between Class A Advanced Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Tweet from @Royals: We honored nine Minor League players at our Organizational Awards ceremony this morning in Surprise: https://t.co/lV0eH2bVJj #RoyalsST pic.twitter.com/EI7MKNUpze

• Outfielder Elier Hernandez took home the Mike Sweeney Award, which recognizes the player who best represents the organization on and off the field. Between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, Hernandez, 23, hit .317.

• Infielder Nicky Lopez, who made the all-prospect team in the Arizona Fall League, received the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award. Lopez, 23, who is the club's No. 6 prospect, made just eight errors in 129 games last season at shortstop between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas.

• Outfielder Rudy Martin received the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year Award. Martin, 22, was 26-for-30 in stolen base attempts at Lexington.

• First baseman Frank Schwindel received the George Brett Hitter of the Year Award. Schwindel, 25, had 43 doubles, 23 home runs and 97 RBIs between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha.

• Current Royals hitting coach Terry Bradshaw took home the Dick Howser Award for the most outstanding player development person. Bradshaw had been the club's roving hitting instructor.

• Jeff Diskin, the team's cultural development coordinator, received the Matt Minker Award for most outstanding Minor League affiliates employee. Minker was the former managing partner of the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

• Matt Price, area scouting supervisor, received the Art Stewart Award for most outstanding scout.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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