Kansas City Royals Announce Minor League Award Winners
Rookie Ball — Players of the Year
Rubendy Jaquez (Dominican)
Jaquez didn’t have outstanding stats in the Dominican Summer League, but the 18-year-old did enough to lock down player of the year. He hit just .267 but 32 walks helped boost his on-base percentage almost 100 points higher than his batting average.
According to the Kansas City Royals news release, Jaquez led the team in games played, at-bats, total bases and stolen bases. Only 11 of his 56 hits went for extra bases, including just one home run. A switch-hitter, Jaquez drove in 18 runs while scoring 19.
Defensively, he split his time between first base and second base—with about two-thirds of his starts coming at second. Jaquez made just four errors during the season.
Nick Pratto (Surprise)
It’s nice to see the Kansas City Royals’ top pick in the 2017 draft have a fairly successful rookie ball season. Pratto, who was the 14th overall pick in the draft, played 52 games in the Arizona League.
Out of his 49 hits, the 18-year-old had 15 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He drove in 34 runs and slashed .247/.330/.414. The first baseman stole 10 bases in 14 tries.
According to the release, Pratto reached safely in 16 consecutive games from July 22-Aug. 13, during which time he had a .380 on-base percentage.
Michael Gigliotti (Burlington)
The Royals’ 2017 fourth-round pick out of Lipscomb, Gigliotti put together an impressive season in the Appalachian League. It earned him an All-Star nod, player of the year honors and a promotion to Single-A Lexington.
Despite the Aug. 9 promotion, Gigliotti piled up 51 hits, including 14 extra-base hits, 32 walks (to just 21 strikeouts) and 30 RBI. He has a triple-slash line of .329/.442/.477 over 42 games in the league.
The 21-year-old outfielder did pretty well after joining Lexington, too. In 22 games, Gigliotti hit .302 with eight RBI. His strikeout-to-walk ratio suffered mightily though with 20 punchouts to just eight free passes.
Robby Rinn (Idaho Falls)
After spending last season in the Arizona League, Rinn tore up the Pioneer League this summer. According to the release, the 24-year-old landed both midseason and postseason All-Star honors.
In 69 games, the first baseman slashed .355/.429/.511. A 25th-round pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2016, Rinn put together a 21-game hitting streak that stretched almost a month—from July 29-Aug. 27.
He finished the season with an even 100 hits, including 22 doubles, two triples and six home runs. Rinn scored 58 runs and drove in 59. He even walked (36) more times than he struck out (35).