3 Chasers Earn MiLB Organization All-Star Honors
MiLB.com revealed their 2019 Kansas City Royals Organization All-Stars on Friday morning, with a trio of 2019 Storm Chasers players listed in that group. Catcher Nick Dini , in addition to infielder Kelvin Gutierrez and infielder/outfielder Erick Mejia , were all honored for their 2019 seasons.
In 58 games with the Storm Chasers this past season, Dini compiled a .296 average (55-186), adding 34 runs, 11 doubles, 13 homers and 36 RBI, along with a .370 on-base percentage and .934 OPS. That included a .343 clip (12-35) over 11 July matchups, along with ten runs, three doubles, four longballs and 12 RBI, in addition to six walks compared to just four strikeouts.
The backstop's contract was selected by the Royals on August 7, with Dini making his Major League debut later that day versus the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He posted a a .196 mark (11-56) with 11 runs, three doubles, two homers and six RBI in 20 contests with Kansas City. 2019 marks the second time in three years Dini has been tabbed an MiLB.com Organization All-Star, earning those honors following the 2017 campaign. He was selected by the Royals in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Wagner College.
Gutierrez accumulated a .287 average (82-286) in 75 games with Omaha this past season, adding 41 runs, nine doubles, two triples, nine homers and 43 RBI, in addition to 12 steals in 13 attempts. He also reached base in each of his first 18 games with the Storm Chasers from April 4-25, which included hits in all but three of those tilts.
The 25-year-old was promoted to Kansas City from Omaha on April 26 and made his Major League debut with the Royals the next day, ultimately compiling a .260 mark (19-73) along with four runs, two doubles, one triple, one homer and 11 RBI. This is the first MiLB.com Organization All-Star honor in Gutierrez's career. He was acquired by the Royals from Washington as part of a a June 18, 2018 trade that sent former Storm Chasers right-handed pitcher Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals. Gutierrez was signed by Washington as a non-drafted free agent out of the Domincan Republic on April 10, 2013.
Mejia, who last month was tabbed Omaha's Player of the Year by the Royals, accrued a .271 average (134-495) in 128 games with the Storm Chasers, while leading the club in most offensive categories including runs scored (83), hits (134), doubles (22) and RBI (63). His 19 steals also ranked second on the team behind outfielder Brett Phillips (22).
The 24-year-old's contract was selected by the Royals on September 3, and made his Major League debut with Kansas City on September 5 versus the Detroit Tigers. In nine contests with the Royals, he hit .227 (5-22) along with three runs, one double and four RBI, in addition to drawing four walks. 2019 marks the first time Mejia has earned MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors. He was acquired by Kansas City from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a three team trade that included former Storm Chasers lefty Scott Alexander and former Royals right-hander Joakim Soria being dealt to the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, respectively. Mejia was originally signed by the Seattle Mariners as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on June 30, 2012.
Dini, Gutierrez and Mejia were three of the 11 Storm Chasers players to be promoted and debut with the Kansas City Royals over the course of the 2019 season, the highest number of promotions to debut in the Werner Park Era (since 2011). The full list of MiLB.com's Royals Organization All-Stars for the 2019 season can be viewed.
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