Kansas City Royals Announce Minor League Award Winners

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Foster Griffin
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Foster Griffin /
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Lexington (A) Player/Pitcher of the Year

Emmanuel Rivera

After a pair of below-average seasons in rookie ball, Rivera broke out with Lexington in 2017. The third baseman collected 144 hits, including 27 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs, to go with 60 runs and 72 RBI.

The third baseman hit .310/.364/.468. According to the release, he ranked first in batting average and hits in the South Atlantic League. Rivera also placed in the top five in on-base percentage and slugging.

They were a great improvement over the 21-year-old’s previous two seasons. In 2015, Rivera hit an atrocious .174/.317/.217 in the Arizona League. The following year, he slashed .249/.317/.373 before breaking out this season.

Jace Vines

The fifth right-hander to be honored, thus far, Vines excelled with Lexington to earn a late-season promotion to Wilmington. He even earned a start with Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 28, allowing just two runs over six innings in a no-decision.

According to the release, his 12 combined wins—nine with Lexington and three with Wilmington—ranked second among players in the Kansas City Royals farm system. Vines made 14 starts over 19 appearances at Lexington, finishing with a 9-5 record and a 3.42 ERA.

The 23-year-old was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He struggled mightily during his time with Surprise and Idaho Falls last year, but Vines clearly seemed to turn a corner this season.