Kansas City Royals Announce Minor League Award Winners

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

Frank Schwindel

Have the Kansas City Royals found a replacement for Eric Hosmer? No. No, they haven’t. But Schwindel has done enough to insert himself into the conversation of future (not 2018) first basemen.

In 133 games (34 in Double-A and 99 in Triple-A), Schwindel showed a lot of power. When combining his stats together, he set career-highs in doubles (43), home runs (22) and RBI (97).

Specifically with the Storm Chasers, the 25-year-old hit .321/.340/.528 with 30 doubles, 17 home runs and 72 RBI. He scored 51 runs but drew just 10 walks.

According to the Royals’ release, he had at least one hit in 47 of his final 50 games. That included three different double-digit hitting streaks. Not too shabby for a former 18th-round selection.

Jake Junis

Before he was tearing it up in the Kansas City Royals rotation—and a little bit during—Junis put up solid numbers in Omaha. He’s be one of the club’s biggest surprises this season. Apparently, he’s been the best pitcher for the Storm Chasers, too.

Ironically, Junis has a much better record in the big leagues this season (8-3 compared to 3-5). However, most of his Triple-A numbers were more impressive. He finished his 12 starts in Omaha with a 2.92 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and an 86:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

His areas of improvement include limiting his home runs allowed and lowering his opponents’ batting average. But Junis has shown plenty of promise—particularly for a former 29th-round pick. He’s expected to slot nicely into the rotation for 2018.

The downside to Junis getting this honor, of course, is the organization clearly doesn’t have a lot of quality arms waiting in the wings. But that’s a discussion for another day. For now, we’ll tip our caps, say congratulations and let them know we’re looking forward to their future contributions.

Next: The 10 Best Royals Outfielders of All-Time

Oh, yeah, and please hurry!