On Tuesday, the Kansas City Royals announced their minor league Player and Pitcher of the Year awards for 2017.
Infielder Frank Schwindel was tabbed the George Brett Hitter of the Year, while left-handed pitcher Foster Griffin was named the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year. Both award winners will be recognized during spring training.
Schwindel, a 25-year-old first baseman from Livingston, NJ, was previously named the Omaha (AAA) Player of the Year for 2017. He set career highs in doubles,43, home runs, 23, and RBI, 97, in 133 games between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha, leading all Royals’ farmhands in doubles and RBI. His 43 doubles also tied for second among all minor league players.
Schwindel collected a hit in 47 of his last 50 games, which included three hitting streaks of 10 games or more, the longest of which was an 18-gamer from July 15-Aug. 1, which tied for the longest by a Storm Chaser in 2017.
The right-handed hitting first baseman was selected in the 18th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Griffin, a 22-year-old pitcher from Orlando, FL, was also named Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year in 2017. The southpaw went 11-5 with a 3.61 ERA, 42 ER in 104.2 IP, in 18 starts following his promotion from Wilmington (A) and tied for second in the Texas League in wins, despite not making his Double-A debut until May 30.
Griffin's 15 victories between the two levels were the most by a Royals minor league pitcher since Jake Odorizzi, 15, in 2012. Griffin was named a Carolina League All-Star and selected to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami last season.
The left-hander was selected in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
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