Royals beat Rockies, honor players and send some to minors

Prior to today’s victory over Colorado, the KC Royals honored their minor leaguers.

Jake Junis ST

Jake Junis during spring training 2016 (Jen Nevius).

Right-handed starter Jake Junis was named the Paul Splittorf Award winner, which goes to the Royals top pitcher in the minor leagues. I may have leaned more towards right-handed reliever Kevin McCarthy, mainly because he dominated at two levels, while Junis really struggled after his promotion to Triple-A.

Hunter Dozier was named the George Brett Award winner, which goes to the top position player in the organization (I may have leaned more towards Samir Duenez, who only got better as he moved up three levels). Dozier moved seemlessly from third base to the outfield.

2016 draft pick (16th round) Nick Heath was named the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year, as he stole 36 bases and led the Pioneer League (with Idaho Falls). His 36 steals were third-most in the organization.

Catcher Cam Gallagher was named the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year. After finally reaching Double-A in 2016, Gallagher led the Texas League in caught-stealing percentage (30-of-63, .476).

Outfielder Logan Moon was the Mike Sweeney Award recipient. This award goes to the player that best represents the organization.

Right-hander reliever Yender Caramo earned the Carlos Fortuna Award, which recognizes the player who is dedicated to improving his English, conduct, and work ethic.


The Royals also made a few rosters moves, sending right-handed pitchers Miguel Almonte, Kevin McCarthy, and Junis to Triple-A Omaha. First baseman Samir Duenez was sent to Double-A NW Arkansas.


Now to the game.

It was scoreless until the fifth when Travis Wood, who just entered the game, allowed a two-run home run. Wood would only allow those two runs, but six hits and two walks over 3.2 innings.

Jorge Bonifacio

Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

The Royals came back and made Wood a winner, as Ramon Torres drove in two runs in the seventh with a single to tie the game (he went 1-for-4 with a stolen base). In the 8th inning, Jorge Bonifacio hit a solo home run to give the Royals the lead (he went 1-for-1 and threw a runner out at the plate). Hunter Dozier extended the lead with his own solo homer in the ninth (he went 1-for-1 with a walk).

Matt Strahm picked up the save, as he stranded a runner in the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

Chris Young got the start and pitched well. He scattered four hits and a walk over 3.2 innings. He struck out one. Young was pulled with two outs and a runner on first base. Yender Caramo came in and threw just two pitches, getting a line out to end the fourth.



Next up, the Royals host the LA Angels tomorrow afternoon. Ian Kennedy will get the start, while Peter Moylan is expected to pitch out of the bullpen for the first time since returning from the World Baseball Classic.


About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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