Results tagged ‘ Joe Burke Special Achievement Award ’

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.

Hosmer excited about future in KC

Eric Hosmer entered his first Major League spring training last February as a non-roster invitee.  There were varying expectations from baseball types and media members.  Some pointed to a breakout 2010 season that included Hosmer’s participation in the XM Futures All-Star Game, the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament for Team USA and the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game.  Baseball America listed Hosmer as the top prospect in a KC farm system that was ranked first among all 30 across baseball.  Others pointed out that Hosmer had played just 50 games above Class-A prior to 2011 and was a year removed from batting a combined .241.  The result was a season that beat all expectations, even those of Hosmer.

The first baseman’s goal at the beginning of 2011 was to get a shot at the Major League level at some point.  The shot came sooner rather than later as Hosmer batted a sizzling .439 in 26 games for Triple-A Omaha.  His fast start resulted in a call to KC, where he made a much-anticipated debut on May 6.  Hosmer compiled a .293 average with 19 home runs and 78 RBI in 128 games while making spectacular plays at first base.  The performance earned him the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award from members of the Kansas City Baseball Writers Association of America and placed him firmly in the discussion for A.L. Rookie of the Year.

Hosmer has now had a month to reflect on the quick start to his Major League career.  He watched the World Series with a different perspective this year as he now knew many of the umpires and players involved.  He pointed out today on a conference call with the media that many of his teammates also exceeded personal expectations in 2011.   Several top KC prospects were expected to play at Triple-A this year and fight for a Major League job out of spring training in 2012.  Instead, those prospects made the Majors in 2011 and became familiar with the opponents and the surroundings. 

Chances are that the Joe Burke Award is the first of many individual honors at the Major League level for the just-turned 22-year old (birthday was on October 24).  However, his goals are all team-oriented.  He wants to reach the playoffs and win as many championships as possible.  He mentioned how fans around the city would stop him and say how excited they were about the Royals.  Hopefully that excitement is the tip of the iceberg, just as 2011 was for Hosmer’s career.

Royals announce 2010 organizational award winners

The Royals are pleased to announce the remaining organizational award winners for the 2010 season.  The honorees will be recognized at the 2011 Royals Awards Show, scheduled for Saturday, January 22 in conjunction with Royals FanFest presented by Sprint and Teva Neuroscience at the Overland Park Convention Center.

During the event, the Royals will recognize 12 honorees for their contributions both on and off the field in 2010.  Former Royals greats such as George Brett and Willie Wilson 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).  Royals’ closer Joakim Soria  was the selection for the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year while Billy Butler was the 2010 Les Milgram Player of the Year for the second straight season.  Starter Bruce Chen was named the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.

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

Mike Moustakas, recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top hitter. The 22-year-old third baseman combined to hit .322 with NW Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA), tying for the minor league lead with 36 home runs.  The Royals’ first-round selection (2nd overall) in 2007 also posted 41 doubles and drove in 124 in being named the Sporting News Minor League Hitter of the Year, the Texas League Player of the Year, and a Baseball America 2010 first-team Minor League All-Star.

John Lamb, recipient of the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top pitcher. The 20-year-old pitched at three levels of the Royals system in 2010, wrapping up at NW Arkansas.  The six-foot-three lefty from Laguna Hills, Calif., was a combined 10-7 with a 2.38 ERA in 28 starts, allowing 122 hits in 147.2 innings, striking out 159 and walking just 45.  Lamb was a fifth-round pick of the Royals in 2008.

Derrick Robinson, recipient of the Willie Wilson Base Runner of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top base runner.  The 23-year-old patrolled center field for the Texas League-champion Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010, hitting .286 with a league-leading 50 stolen bases in 67 attempts.  The speedster, drafted by the Royals in the fourth round in 2006, has swiped 236 bases in his professional career, including 181 in his last three campaigns, and is a two-time winner of the Willie Wilson Award, also earning the honor in 2008.

Eric Hosmer, recipient of the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top defensive player.  Hosmer, 21, is an athletic first baseman who posted a .988 fielding percentage in 80 games at Wilmington (A Advanced) before upping that mark to .994 in 43 games at first for NW Arkansas.  At the plate, the Royals’ first-round pick (3rd overall) in 2008 batted a combined .338 with 43 doubles, nine triples, 20 home runs, 86 RBI and 87 runs, also stealing 14 bases in 16 attempts.

Buddy Baumann, recipient of the Mike Sweeney Award – recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field.  The 23-year-old left-handed pitcher tirelessly volunteered for numerous community events throughout the 2010 season, visiting Wilmington-area schools and hospitals and conducting several baseball clinics.  Kansas City’s seventh-round selection in 2009 was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances for Burlington (A) to begin 2010 before going 4-2 with four saves and posting a 2.24 ERA in 31 games (14 starts) for Wilmington.

Brian Poldberg, recipient of the Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year – recognizing an outstanding member of player development.  The only manager the NW Arkansas Naturals have ever known, Poldberg led the club to the Texas League Championship in 2010.  The team was also recently recognized as the Baseball America Minor League Club of the Year.  After ending a seven-year playing career, the Carter Lake, Iowa resident has been a coach and instructor in the Royals organization since 1987.

Sean Gibbs, recipient of the Art Stewart Scout of the Year – recognizing an outstanding scout.  Gibbs has served the Royals organization as an area scout since 2007.  He has scouted and signed several players including 2010 Burlington (R) Pitcher of the Year Crawford Simmons.

Andrew Layman, assistant general manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, is the recipient of the Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee.  Layman has directed the merchandise, ticket and stadium operations departments during his 19-year Blue Rocks tenure.  In 1998, he received the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for best exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism in recognition of his time invested with a local teen.  The Malvern, Pa. native is a 1992 graduate of Lynchburg College where he played lacrosse.  He currently makes his home in Wilmington with fiance, Jordan, and their son, Mason.

In addition, the Royals will honor Chuck Sailors with the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award –  recognizing an outstanding member of the community.  In 2004, Sailors founded the KC Urban Youth Center at 28th and Troost in Kansas City, Mo.  Today, the center is part of three low-income housing communities in urban Kansas City serving more than 300 students and their families each year.  Sailors and his staff work daily with a holistic approach in order to offer hope, community and wholeness to children and youth living in traditionally underserved communities.


Bruce Chen: Funny off of the field, serious on it

Chen_1.jpgLeft-handed pitcher Bruce Chen is a character in the clubhouse and away from baseball (such as the below picture from the Royals Celebrity Golf Tournament).  His humor even reached Kauffman Stadium’s CrownVision this season with a starring role in “High Five Somebody” and another feature called the “Bruce Chen Joke of the Day”.  Fittingly, he was the starting pitcher on June 4 when Will Ferrell joined fellow comedians/actors Bobby Cannavale, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Horatio Sanz and Jason Sudeikis at Kauffman Stadium.  Ferrell’s rallying cry of “C’mon Chen!” will be remembered for years to come.

Chen, the funny man off of the diamond, cited his business-like preparation in today’s conference call with the media to discuss his Joe Burke Special Achievement Award.  All of the hard work since his “Tommy John” surgery in 2007 culminated in his last start of 2010 as he tossed his first career shutout on October 1 vs. Tampa Bay.

Chen_golf.jpgWhile Chen is proud of the accomplishments (the shutout, his first save, 12 wins to name a few), he is already looking forward to next year.  Chen had just completed a workout before the conference call.  The free agent is spending time this offseason at his home in Surprise, Ariz. and has received permission to train at the Royals complex.

Chen is grateful that the Royals gave him the opportunity to show what he can do both prior to 2009 and 2010 with minor league deals.  He likes the organization and the direction that it is headed in.  While Chen is open to returning to the Royals, he believes that he will have several choices this offseason and will leave all of the contract talks to his agent.

He closed the call by thanking everyone who voted for him and stating how honored he was to win the award. 

Make sure to check back tomorrow as the Royals announce the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year.  The winner will join media for a conference call at 3:30 p.m. and we will recap the call here.

Pitcher Bruce Chen named winner of 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award

Chen1.jpgThe Royals have announced that left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen was selected as the 2010 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 award goes 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.  Chen becomes the first Royals player not on the Spring Training 40-man roster to win the award since 1995 when infielder Keith Lockhart began the strike-altered season in the minor leagues with Omaha.

Chen_shutout2.jpgThe 33-year-old Chen began 2010 as a non-roster invite to Spring Training and concludes the season as the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner after leading the club in wins with a 12-7 record.  He finished the campaign with a 4.17 ERA in 33 appearances, including 23 starts, and also added a save.  The win total fell one shy of his career high of 13 set in 2005 with Baltimore.  He finished with the most wins by a Royals lefty since Charlie Leibrandt and Floyd Bannister posted 13 and 12 victories, respectively, in 1988.  A native of Panama, Chen capped his sensational comeback season by tossing his first career shutout in his final start on October 1, posting a two-hitter in a 7-0 win over the A.L. East Champion Tampa Bay Rays.

Congrats to Bruce!  We’ll be sitting in on a conference call with him later today, and will bring you a recap.

The Royals plan to announce the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year tomorrow and the 2010 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Monday, November 9.

Callaspo earns Joe Burke Special Achievement honors

9-26 Callaspo.jpgThe Royals have announced that Alberto Callaspo was named the 2009 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.  The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

“Alberto had a special year, especially at the plate, and truly deserves this honor,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said.  “He was a consistent and reliable performer who seemed to have a knack for big hits in key situations.”

The 26-year old second baseman posted an impressive offensive season for Kansas City, batting .300 with 41 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs, 73 RBI and 79 runs scored in 155 games.  His .823 on-base plus slugging percentage was the fourth-highest in baseball among second basemen while his 41 doubles were the third-most among second baseman in Royals history.  The switch-hitter from Maracay, Venezuela, has a .302 average in 229 games since joining the Royals prior to the 2008 season.

The Royals plan to announce the 2009 Les Milgram Player of the Year and Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year next Monday, November 16, and Tuesday, November 17, respectively.   

Congratulations to Alberto on his breakout season!



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