Royals hand out Minor League awards

September 26th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- For the second straight season, first baseman/DH Frank Schwindel was named Triple-A Omaha's Player of the Year Award winner by the Royals organization.

The Royals also announced that left-hander Richard Lovelady was Omaha's Pitcher of the Year Award winner. Lovelady is the Royals' No. 13 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

The Royals will name their George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year and their Paul Splittorff Minor League Pitcher of the Year during the offseason.

Schwindel, 26, hit .286/.336/.506 with a career-high 24 home runs and 93 RBIs. Also, his 38 doubles set a new single-season franchise record at Omaha.

Opponents hit just .204 against Lovelady this season. He went 3-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 46 relief outings.

Other organizational winners:

Double-A Northwest Arkansas

Infielder Jecksson Flores, 24, was named Player of the Year after winning the Texas League batting title with a .314 average. Flores also led the team with 31 doubles.

Right-hander Jake Newberry, 23, was named the Pitcher of the Year. In 25 relief outings, Newberry had a 2.12 ERA. He was later promoted to the big league club in August.

Class A Advanced Wilmington

Infielder D.J. Burt, 22, the Royals' No. 28 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was the Player of the Year. Burt had a .367 on-base percentage and led the Carolina League with 32 steals.

Right-hander Gerson Garabito, 23, was the Pitcher of the Year, leading the Carolina League with a 3.16 ERA among starters.

Class A Lexington

Outfielder Seuly Matias, 20, and catcher MJ Melendez, 19, were named co-Players of the Year. Matias, the Royals' No. 3 prospect, hit 31 home runs in just 94 games. His season ended in early August when he sustained a deep gash to his thumb knuckle while loading his luggage on the team bus. Melendez, the No. 5 prospect, slugged .492 with 19 home runs.

Right-hander Carlos Hernandez, 21, was the Pitcher of the Year. Hernandez, the Royals' No. 12 prospect, went 6-5 with a 3.29 ERA (29 ER in 79 1/3 IP), with 82 strikeouts (9.3 K/9) and just 23 walks (2.6 BB/9).

Rookie League Idaho Falls

Infielder/outfielder Nathan Eaton, 21, was the Player of the Year, slashing .354/.427/.581 with 19 stolen bases. Left-hander J.C. Cloney, 24, was Pitcher of the Year, posting a 1.93 ERA with just 10 walks in 56 innings.

Rookie League Burlington

Infielder Jose Marquez, 20, was the Player of the Year, slashing .301/.355/.498 with 35 RBIs in 59 games. Left-hander Marcelo Martinez, 22, was the Pitcher of the Year, going 5-3 in 10 starts with a 2.68 ERA.

Rookie League Surprise

Infielder Rubendy Jaquez, 18, was the Player of the Year, with an OPS of .838 with 27 RBIs in 46 games. Right-hander Yohanse Morel, 18, was the Pitcher of the Year, posting a 3.71 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings.

Rookie League Dominican 1

Infielder Enrique Valdez, 18, was the Player of the Year, hitting .264 in 27 games. Right-hander Heribert Garcia, 18, was the Pitcher of the Year, posting a 0.94 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts).

Rookie League Dominican 2

Outfielder Neyfi Marinez, 18, was the Player of the Year, hitting .269 with six triples in 59 games. Right-hander Daury Caberera, 17, was the Pitcher of the Year, posting a 1.23 ERA in nine outings.

All these players will be at Kauffman Stadium prior to Friday's game against Cleveland.