And the 2012 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award goes to…Alcides Escobar!
The Royals have announced that shortstop Alcides Escobar was selected as the 2012 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner. The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The Joe Burke is awarded to an unsung player who contributed above and beyond what was expected, or someone who the writers felt deserved some recognition for an outstanding season.
Escobar had a breakout offensive season in 2012, his second with Kansas City after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2010. The 25-year old set career highs with a .293 average, 177 hits, 30 doubles, five home runs, 52 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. The 177 hits were 13 more than the previous single-season mark for a Royals shortstop. His .293 average ranked second to New York’s Derek Jeter among MLB shortstops and was the third-highest single-season mark at the position by a Royal. Escobar’s 35 stolen bases ranked fifth in the American League and were the most by a Royals player since 2003. He became the first infielder in franchise history to post at least 30 doubles and 30 steals in the same season and the first Royal to accomplish the feat since Carlos Beltran in 2002. Escobar’s first career multi-homer game on July 14 vs. Chicago was the first by a Royals shortstop since 1997.
The Royals plan to announce the 2012 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year tomorrow and the 2012 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Wednesday, November 7. Both awards will be revealed at noon CT.