Kansas City Royals Biggest Surprise: Mike Minor
After a pair of silver medals, Minor finally gets his gold in the form of biggest surprise of the first half.
As with the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year award, this honor would seem to be somewhat of a slap in the face. Obviously, it is preferred to be the biggest surprise as opposed to the biggest disappointment (See next slide.), but it still means that little was expected of a player at the beginning of the season.
Kansas City Royals
It’s hard to blame those who expected nothing out of Minor, even though he made the Royals’ opening day roster.
Minor had not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2014. In his five seasons with the Atlanta Braves, the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2009, he had only pitched out of the bullpen once in 111 appearances.
Fast-forward to now and Minor is making those who doubted him look pretty stupid and general manager Dayton Moore look pretty smart.
The lefty has a sparkling 1.87 ERA and 0.97 WHIP—both of which lead the team—to go with a 5-1 record.
Those stats aren’t influenced by a small sample size either. Minor has pitched 43 1/3 innings over 35 games. The innings are the most for any non-starter and the appearances rank fourth on the team.
Runner-up: Whit Merrifield