Moustakas Named George Brett Hitter of the Year
OMAHA, NE - The Kansas City Royals today named third baseman Mike Moustakas and left-hander John Lamb as the top hitter and pitcher, respectively, in the Royals' organization. Moustakas, currently playing with Omaha, was tabbed as the George Brett Hitter of the Year. Lamb, now pitching for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, was honored as the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year. Also today, Kansas City named the Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their eight affiliates. Right-hander Bryan Bullington and first baseman/DH Kila Ka'aihue garnered those honors for Triple-A Omaha.
A majority of the 18 players are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, October 1, when they will take part in an autograph session, as well as be honored on the field prior to the Royals game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Moustakas has hit a combined 326 (149-for-457) this season with 39 doubles, a Minor League-leading 34 home runs, 120 RBI and 91 runs scored in 112 games between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. Prior to his promotion to Omaha on July 15, the 21-year old was leading the Texas League in most offensive categories, batting .347 with 21 homers and 76 RBI in 66 games.
Since joining the O-Royals, Moustakas has hit .298 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 46 games. He made national headlines Monday night, by bashing three homers and driving in a team-record eleven runs in Omaha's 23-5 win over Round Rock. The second overall pick in the 2007 draft, Moustakas was recently named the Texas League Player of the Year and one of five finalists for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year.
Bullington went 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 games, including 15 starts for Omaha. In 102 innings, he allowed 86 hits and 28 walks, with 73 strikeouts. The 29-year old right-hander pitched in three games out of KC's bullpen in May and was recalled for a second time on July 28. Currently in Kansas City's rotation, he's scheduled to start tonight against the Texas Rangers. In nine appearances (four starts) with KC, he's 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA.
Bullington is in his first season in the Royals organization, signed by Kansas City as a free agent last November. Pitching in his fifth season in the big leagues this year, his Major League record was 0-7 until August 15, when he blanked the New York Yankees on two hits over eight innings in a 1-0 win at "The K."
He was the first overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Ball State University. He was originally selected by the Royals in the 37th round of the 1999 draft out of Madison (IN) High, but did not sign.
Ka'aihue hit .319 (103-for-323) with a team-leading 24 home runs and 78 RBI in 94 games for Omaha before being recalled by Kansas City for a second time this year on August 1. The left-handed hitting first baseman/DH still leads the Pacific Coast League in on-base percentage (.463), is second in walks (88), third in slugging percentage (.598) and his .319 average is tied for seventh. His ratio of one homer per 13.46 at-bats ranks fourth in the PCL.
Ka'aihue joined Alex Gordon as the two Omaha Royals representatives on the PCL mid-season All-Star team. Now 26 years old, he signed with Kansas City after being the Royals' 15th-round pick in the 2002 draft out of Iolani High in Honolulu, where he was recruited by the University of Nebraska. In 2008, he won the George Brett Hitter of the Year honors and was also selected as the Texas League Player of the Year and Northwest Arkansas' Player of the Year.
The Omaha Royals, still fighting for a spot in the PCL playoffs, are down to their final two games ever at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Royals host the Round Rock Express tonight and Thursday night, both 7:05 p.m. starts.
For tickets, call (402) 738-5100, or print tickets online at www.oroyals.com .
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