Awards Night honorees announced
The Royals have announced the remaining organizational award winners, who will be recognized at the 2009 Royals Awards Night on January 16 at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel. This great event will be capped by the announcement of the Ewing Kauffman Mr. Baseball Award. Buy your tickets today! The honorees include:
Dan Ontiveros – Art Stewart Scout of the Year
Dan scouts the Southern California area for the Royals. He previously worked for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox. In his first year with the Royals, Ontiveros signed left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, the club’s supplemental pick in 2008. Montgomery earned Pitcher of the Year honors for the Surprise Royals last season.
Brian (left) is now the manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. In 2008, he guided the Burlington Bees to the Midwest League championship. Rupp played in the St. Louis organization for seven seasons before becoming a minor league coach with the Cardinals in 1999.
Everett, a left-handed pitcher, will receive the Mike Sweeney Award, which recognizes a player who best represents the organization on and off the field. Teaford went 8-6 with a 3.80 ERA for Wilmington in 2008. In addition, he took part in every Blue Rocks community event. The Carolina League named Teaford as the inaugural Matt Minker Community Service Award winner.
Robinson could be playing in tonight’s national championship football game, but he turned down a scholarship to the University of Florida to sign with Kansas City. Robinson’s future on the baseball diamond is very bright. The speedster set the pace with an individual franchise record 62 stolen bases as the Wilmington Blue Rocks established a team franchise mark with 258 thefts. His total of 62 led the Carolina League and placed him fourth among all minor league players.
Jeff Bianchi – Frank White Defensive Player of the Year
Bianchi, a former shortstop, made a smooth transition to second base, the position held down by the awards’ namesake and eight-time Gold Glove winner. Jeff made just 2 errors in 75 games at second base and 7 errors overall.
The highly-touted righty went 10-4 with a 3.78 ERA as he helped the Northwest Arkansas Naturals reach the playoffs in their inaugural season. Cortes earned team Pitcher of the Year honors and Postseason Texas League All-Star status. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2005 and signed by fellow honoree Dan Ontiveros.
Kila had a breakout season in 2008, as he led Kansas City’s minor league system with 37 home runs and 100 RBI. He earned Texas League Player of the Year honors after slamming 26 home runs for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Ka’aihue finished the year with the big league club and collected his first home run on September 20.
The Royals will also honor Patti Lewis with the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding member of the community. Lewis is founder and director of Alexandra’s House, a non-profit perinatel hospice that reaches out to families who have an anticipated infant loss.
The club previously announced that Chris Kemple will be recognized as The Matt Minker Award winner. The award is presented to an outstanding minor league affiliate employee. Chris is the general manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The Major League award winners, Pitcher of the Year Joakim Soria, Player of the Year Mike Aviles, and Special Achievement winner Zack Greinke will also be honored.