Kings of Kauffman Presents: Royals Minor League Awards
Blue Rocks third baseman Hunter Dozier at the plate on April 13, 2014 (Jen Nevius).
Player of the Year: Hunter Dozier – 267 PA, .295/.397/.429
Even though Dozier only spent a few months in the Carolina League, he was, by far, the team’s best hitter this season, collecting 22 extra-base hits while posting an .826 OPS. Dozier also continued to exhibit good plate discipline, with a walk rate of 13.1%. He didn’t show off as much power in that pitcher-friendly environment, but an OBP near .400 is always a beautiful thing to see.
Pitcher of the Year: Glenn Sparkman – 29 G, 121 IP, 8.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 1.56 ERA
After spending the first month and a half in the bullpen, Sparkman burst onto the scene in a starting role, allowing 0 runs in his first four starts. That production continued the rest of the season as well, as his ERA while starting was a sparkling 1.39. Sparkman showed terrific command, walking only 18 batters in his 18 starts.
Double-A Northwest Arkansas
Player of the Year: Lane Adams – 465 PA, .269/.352/.427
Adams had yet another very solid season on the farm, collecting 39 extra-base hits in his 105 games played for the Naturals. He missed nearly a month with an injury, and it was quite a shame, considering he was just coming off a June in which he posted a .994 OPS. Once Adams returned from injury, he was right back to hitting, as he put up a .316/.407/.459 line in the month of August. He also stole 38 bases in 46 attempts this season, and taken all together, Adams clearly earned his promotion to the big leagues this week.
Pitcher of the Year: Andy Ferguson – 23 GS, 147.2 IP, 7.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 2.93 ERA
While he doesn’t show up on any prospect lists, Ferguson did open a few eyeballs in Northwest Arkansas this year, pitching extremely well in a ballpark and league known for gaudy hitting numbers. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the above line is that Ferguson started the year poorly in April and May, but from June 1 to his final Double-A appearance, he posted a 2.03 ERA in 102 innings while maintaining a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 3 to 1.