Kansas City prospect Mike Moustakas has been named the 2010 Sporting News Minor League Hitter of the Year of the Year. In addition, catcher Wil Myers and relief pitcher Tim Collins were named to the Sporting News All-Minor League Team as the best player at their respective positions. The Royals were the lone organization in baseball with multiple selections.
Moustakas tied for the minor league lead with a combined 36 home runs for Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). The Royals first-round pick (second overall) in 2007 batted .322 (156-for-484) with 41 doubles, 124 RBI and 94 runs scored, posting a slugging percentage of .630. His RBI total was the second-most in the minors.
The 21-year-old Northridge, Calif., resident has accumulated several honors throughout the 2010 season. He was selected as the Royals’ George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year and the Texas League Player of the Year. In addition, Moustakas was chosen to represent the Royals in the All-Star Futures Game and was also honored as one of five finalists for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year.
Myers, 19, split the season between Burlington (A) and Wilmington (High A), batting a combined .315 with 37 doubles, 14 home runs, 83 RBI and 70 runs scored in 126 games. The right-handed hitter was the Royals’ third-round selection in the 2009 Draft.
21-year-old left-hander Collins was acquired from the Atlanta Braves on July 31, 2010 with outfielder Gregor Blanco and pitcher Jesse Chavez in exchange for outfielder Rick Ankiel and pitcher Kyle Farnsworth. The 5-foot-7 hurler pitched at the Double-A level in the Blue Jays and Braves organizations before joining Omaha following his acquisition by Kansas City. Collins was 3-1 at the three stops with a 2.02 ERA in 56 appearances, striking out 108 and walking 27 in 71.1 innings.
In addition to Moustakas as Sporting News Hitter of the Year, the other winners were:
Pitcher of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson-TB, Rookie of the Year: Chris Sale-CWS. The All-Minor League team consisted of: Catcher: Wil Myers-KC, First base: Brandon Belt-SF, Second base: Brett Lawrie-MIL, Shortstop: Nick Franklin-SEA, Third base: Brandon Laird-NYY, Outfielders: Dominic Brown-PHI; Mike Trout-LAA and Jerry Sands-LAD, Starting pitcher: Julio Teheran-ATL, Relief pitcher: Tim Collins-KC.
The Royals are in Minnesota for a 1:10 day game today. Tune in on FSKC or the Royals Radio Network. Here’s the lineup:
(Blanco – CF), (Maier – RF), (Butler – DH), (Ka’aihue – 1B), (Betemit – 3B), (Gordon – LF), (Pena – C), (Getz – 2B), (Betancourt – SS), (O’Sullivan – P)
Looking to the future
Giving Gregor Blanco the day off allows Jai Miller to start in the outfield today. Yost said they will keep moving guys in and out of the lineup in order to give everyone opportunities. He added that the competition for next year’s roster is practically wide open all over, and the addition of potential minor league players makes the mix even more competitive.
Back in the swing of things
The manager also discussed Josh Fields’ recent play, saying the infielder is doing pretty well offensively and looks okay on defense as well. Yost said Fields has produced decent at-bats nearly every time and has had a couple tough plays at third base, which he believes is somewhat to be expected this early into Fields’ return from the D.L.
Kanekoa Texeira has been playing catch, but has not thrown off a mound yet. He is recovering well from a right elbow strain and has not had any pain, but Yost said there is no need to push him. He expects the hurler to return sometime between now and the end of the year.
Also, Yost thinks Robinson Tejeda has looked good since returning from the D.L. and hasn’t really missed a beat except for one outing in which he wasn’t exceptionally sharp.
The Royals host Detroit today at 1:10. It’s a perfect day for baseball and the Sprint Fun Run! Here’s the lineup:
(Maier – CF), (Aviles – 2B), (Butler – 1B), (Ka’aihue – DH), (Betemit – 3B), (Gordon – LF), (Pena – C), (Miller – RF), (Betancourt – SS), (Davies – P)
Royals Charities hosted the Royals 5K Run/Walk presented by AT&T and Hy-Vee this morning at Kauffman Stadium. The event also featured a one mile Autism Awareness Walk around the stadium. All proceeds supported the Autism Alliance of Greater Kansas City and Royals Charities. Thank you to everyone who participated!
Welcome to the big show!
Lucas May will make his Major League debut tonight. Yost sees the start as necessary in order to get a good look at the catcher and see what he’s capable of doing. The manager doesn’t plan on filling May’s head with advice before the game, but does expect him to discuss strategy with tonight’s starter, Bruce Chen. Yost believes the veteran Chen will pair up well with the “newbie” and will have the patience to hang with the young catcher and help him get through his first start.
Detroit catcher Max St. Pierre is also making his big league debut in tonight’s ballgame after having spent nearly 14 years in the minors. St. Pierre spent 2007 Spring Training in Surprise with the Royals.
It’s a balancing act
Yost also discussed his “dual thinking,” meaning he first and foremost shows up everyday to win, but at the same time he is trying to figure out how to get better for next year. For example, Yost might let a player hit when he would normally would pinch hit for the player because he needs to see what the player is capable of doing in certain situations. He admitted it’s tough to balance the two, but he tries to keep it as steady as he can.
In the two-hole
With Jason Kendall out due to extensive repair to his rotator cuff, Mitch Maier is now seeing playing time at the two-hole in the batting order. According to Yost, Maier is statistically the best situational hitter on the team (Kendall had been second). Situational hitting is something the team tracks from game one until the end of the season, and is also something the club works on everyday.
The Royals host Detroit tonight at 6:10 and a cool storyline is that catchers Lucas May and Max St. Pierre will both be making their Major League debuts. May was acquired by the Royals on July 28 in the Scott Podsednik trade. He will make his debut after 707 games over eight minor league seasons. St. Pierre, who was with KC in Spring Training in 2007, will appear in the Majors for Detroit after 978 games over 14 minor league seasons. Congratulations to both Lucas and Max on their debuts!
Let’s take a look at the KC lineup:
(Blanco – CF), (Maier – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Ka’aihue – DH), (Fields – 3B), (Gordon – LF), (May – C), (Getz – 2B), (Betancourt – SS), (Chen – P)
Under the knife
Jason Kendall had extensive surgery today to repair three of the four muscles that attach to the rotator cuff. When doctors got into the shoulder, it was discovered that two of the muscles were completely torn off the bone. Yost said the doctor feels good about the procedure and Kendall will just have to take things month by month. Yost added that this is not something you should rush, and he knows the ever-eager Kendall will have to be reminded daily that he needs to be patient and smart about his recovery. Kendall should return to Kansas City at some point this weekend.
Yost also commented on Brian Bannister and Luke Hochevar’s return to active duty, saying the two will “piggyback” next Tuesday night at Minnesota. Bannister will make the start and Hochevar will follow. The moves will put Bryan Bullington back in the bullpen.
The Tigers are in town tonight for a 7:10 start. Zack Greinke goes to the hill for KC. Greinke holds a 2.45 ERA in 23 career starts (20 outings) vs. Detroit. Here’s the lineup:
(Blanco – CF), (Maier – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Betemit – DH), (Fields – 3B), (Gordon – LF), (Pena – C), (Getz – 2B), (Betancourt – SS), (Greinke – P)