December 2011

Royals Awards Luncheon tickets now available

The Royals have announced that tickets for the 2011 Royals Awards Luncheon presented by Sprint and Teva are now on sale.  During the event, set for Wednesday, January 11 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan., a select group of honorees will be recognized for their exceptional contributions both on and off the field in 2011.  The event is set to begin with lunch at noon followed immediately by the awards program. 

Award recipients will include 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year Bruce Chen, 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year Alex Gordon and 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner Eric Hosmer. 

Former Royals greats such as George Brett, Willie Wilson and Mike Sweeney will be among the presenters in attendance.  In addition, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, Manager Ned Yost and members of the club’s baseball operations department will participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by FSKC’s Ryan Lefebvre.

Tables of 10 seats are available for $1,000 with individual tickets priced at $150. 

Fans may secure Awards Luncheon tickets by visiting www.royals.com/awards.  Tickets may also be purchased by calling (816) 504-4040, option 1, or visiting Kauffman Stadium during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.).  Online and phone orders are subject to applicable service fees.

Additional award winners announced this week include the following.

Lois Lakey, Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award – recognizing an outstanding member of the community

Eric Edelstein, Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding Minor League affiliate employee

Orlando Estevez, Art Stewart Scout of the Year – recognizing an outstanding scout

Mike Jirschele, Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year – recognizing an outstanding member of

player development

Tim Melville, Mike Sweeney Award – recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field

Anthony Seratelli, Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top baserunner

Lorenzo Cain, Frank White Defensive Player of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top defensive player

Kelvin Herrera, Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top pitcher

Johnny Giavotella, George Brett Hitter of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top hitter

Royals name 2011 organizational award winners

The Royals are pleased to announce the organizational award winners for the 2011 season.  The honorees will be recognized at the Royals Awards Luncheon presented by Sprint and Teva on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.  The event will take place at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan. 

During the event, the Royals will recognize 12 honorees for their contributions both on and off the field in 2011.  Former Royals greats such as George Brett, Willie Wilson and Mike Sweeney will be among the presenters in attendance.

Previously, the club announced the following award recipients as voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  Pitcher Bruce Chen was the selection for the 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year while Alex Gordon was the 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year.  Rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer was named the 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.

The remaining award recipients to be recognized at the event include:

Johnny Giavotella, recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top hitter.  Giavotella was hitting .338 with a minor league-leading 153 hits for Triple-A Omaha at the time of his call-up to the Royals on August 5.  The second baseman had 34 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 72 RBI and 67 runs scored in 110 games for the Storm Chasers.  The 24-year-old was a starter on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team, part of the 12-member All-PCL Team and recently named to the Topps Triple-A All-Star team.  The University of New Orleans alum was the Royals’ second-round selection in the 2008 Draft.

Kelvin Herrera, recipient of the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top pitcher.  The 21-year-old rocketed through the system this season by posting dominant numbers out of the bullpen that earned him a spot on the World squad in the XM Futures All-Star Game.  Herrera combined to go 7-1 with 14 saves and a 1.60 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Wilmington (A Advanced), Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA).  He had his contract selected by the Royals on September 21 and made two relief appearances.  Born and raised in Tenares, Dominican Republic, Herrera signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on December 13, 2006.

Anthony Seratelli, recipient of the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top baserunner.  The versatile Seratelli, 28, stole 35 bases in 40 attempts and was named the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) Player of the Year.  The switch hitter who hit .317 (20-for-63) with Surprise in the Arizona Fall League, was purchased by the Royals from the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Independent Frontier League on February 27, 2007.

Lorenzo Cain, recipient of the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top defensive player.  The 25-year-old Cain patrolled center field for the Pacific Coast League champion Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA) and ranked second in the league with 13 outfield assists.

Tim Melville, recipient of the Mike Sweeney Award – recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field.  The Royals’ fourth-round pick in 2008 volunteered himself for numerous hospital, community and other charitable works throughout the 2011 season with the Blue Rocks.  Melville specifically volunteered for the non-paying community appearances, allowing his teammates the first crack at the compensated events.  On the field, the 22-year-old from Wentzville, Mo., compiled an 11-10 record with a 4.32 ERA in 29 games, including 25 starts.

Mike Jirschele, recipient of the Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year – recognizing an outstanding member of player development.  Jirschele was named the Mike Coolbaugh Award winner by Minor League Baseball in November for showing an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field.  The Omaha skipper led his club to the franchise’s fifth title and first-ever Pacific Coast League crown in 2011, and picked up his 1,000th career managerial win in the process.  This is Jirschele’s fourth Howser Award as he previously earned the honor in 1992, 1994 and 2005.

Orlando Estevez, recipient of the Art Stewart Scout of the Year – recognizing an outstanding scout.  Estevez has spent the past nine seasons with the Royals, the last five as Latin America Supervisor.  Under Estevez, the Royals have strengthened the club’s Latin American talent pool significantly with the signings of players such as catcher Salvador Perez, pitcher Kelvin Herrera, and infielders Cheslor Cuthbert and Humberto Arteaga.

Eric Edelstein, general manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, is the recipient of the Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee.  Edelstein has served as the Naturals GM since October of 2006, several months before the franchise played its first game.  Prior to his time in Springdale, the Cleveland, Ohio, native served as the GM with the Wichita Wranglers for three seasons.  Edelstein was a co-recipient of the 2008 Texas League Executive of the Year and a member of the 2008 class of 40-under-40 by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.

In addition, the Royals will honor Lois Lakey with the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award – recognizing an outstanding member of the community.  Lakey, known to everyone as “Grandma Lois,” is Children’s Mercy Hospital’s lone “full-time” volunteer as she has spent the past 12 years holding and comforting babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.  At age 73, Lakey currently volunteers at the hospital eight hours a day, five days a week. 

More details, including information on how to purchase tickets for the event, will be announced soon.

Royals sign seven players to minor league contracts for 2012

 The Royals announced today that the club has signed seven players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season, including re-signing right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and infielder Jamie Romak, who both played in the organization in 2011.

Left-handed pitcher Marlon Arias, 27, currently is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five relief outings with Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League.  Arias last pitched professionally in 2009 for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, reaching the Triple-A level with Albuquerque.  He is 31-19 in his minor league career with a 5.19 ERA in 100 games, including 75 starts.  The 6-foot-3, 168-pounder from Bani, Dominican Republic was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on March 11, 2003.

30-year-old left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy, a native of Kansas City, Mo., and current Parkville, Mo., resident, received his first taste of the big leagues in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox, appearing in eight contests.  The 6-foot, 195-pounder also pitched at Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) last season, combining for a 2-0 record with a 2.47 ERA in 32 relief stints.  Hottovy graduated from Park Hill South High (Kansas City, Mo.) and attended Wichita State University before being selected by the Red Sox in the third round in 2004.  He is currently pitching for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and is 0-0 with one save and a 3.52 ERA in 12 appearances.

Zach Miner, 29, was re-signed by the Royals after splitting his 2011 campaign between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA).  He began the season in extended spring training as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery on May 28, 2010.  Miner made his debut with the Naturals on May 16 and was 1-6 with a 7.16 ERA in 11 starts before going 2-1 with a save and a 1.59 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Omaha down the stretch.  Miner has made 157 career Major League outings, including 35 starts, for the Tigers from 2006-09.  The Royals initially signed him as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2011. 

27-year-old infielder Tony Abreu spent his entire 2011 season with Triple-A Reno in the Arizona organization.  Playing mostly second base and shortstop, the switch-hitter batted .292 (141-for-483) with 26 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 72 RBI and 83 runs scored in 120 games.  The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder appeared in the Major Leagues for parts of three seasons with the Dodgers (2007, ’09) and D’Backs (2010), hitting .251 in 146 games while playing second, short and third base.  The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic resident missed the entire 2008 season after having hip surgery.

Infielder Eric Duncan, 27, hit .274 (96-for-351) with 21 doubles, a career-best 22 home runs and 62 RBI in 103 games with Springfield (AA) in the St. Louis Cardinals system in 2011.  The former first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2003 played first base, second base, third base and left field last season.  The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is a left-handed hitter and resides in West Orange, N.J.

26-year-old Jamie Romak has re-signed with the Royals after serving as the first baseman and designated hitter with Northwest Arkansas in 2011, batting .251 (110-for-439) with 21 doubles, 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 123 games.  The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from London, Ontario, Canada, helped Team Canada to the Gold medal at the Pan-Am Games this fall.  He originally signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on October 24, 2010.

Infielder Sharlon Schoop, 24, spent the entire 2011 campaign with Double-A Richmond in the Giants system, batting .218 (45-for-206) in 80 games.  The middle infielder and right-handed hitter is a native of Willemstad, Curacao, and competed in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands.  Schoop, 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, originally signed with the San Francisco on March 30, 2004.

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