Royals honor nine winners of 2017 organization awards

Frank Schwindel was named the George Brett Hitter of the Year.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Nine individuals in the Kansas City Royals organization have been honored as winners of minor league awards for the 2017 season, the team announced Tuesday.

The winners:

• Angelo Castellano, Carlos Fortuna Award (player who is dedicated to improving his English, work ethic and conduct)

Castellano, 23, batted .245 with 14 doubles, two triples and 43 RBIs in 116 games at Class A Lexington. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011 out of San Diego, Venezuela.

• Foster Griffin, Paul Splittorff Award (top minor league pitcher)

Griffin, 22, went 15-7 with a 3.35 ERA between Class A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. His 15 victories were the most by a Royals minor leaguer since Jake Odorizzi also won 15 games in 2012. He was selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2014 draft.

• Elier Hernandez, Mike Sweeney Award (best represents the organization on and off the field)

Hernandez, 23, split last season between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas and hit a combined .317 with 11 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 37 RBIs in 46 games. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011.

• Nicky Lopez, Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award

Lopez, 23, hit a combined .279 for Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas. He committed just eight errors overall (.980 fielding percentage) in 129 games at shortstop. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

• Rudy Martin, Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year

Martin, 22, stole 26 bases in 30 attempts at Lexington while batting .277 with seven doubles, a triple, two homers and 25 runs scored in just 37 games. He was selected in the 25th round of the 2014 draft.

• Frank Schwindel, George Brett Hitter of the Year

Schwindel, 25, led all Royals minor leaguers in doubles (43) and RBIs (97), while his 23 home runs between Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha ranked second. He hit safely in 47 of his final 50 contests with the Storm Chasers, batting .396 with a .681 slugging percentage in that span. He was selected in the 18th round of the 2013 draft.

• Terry Bradshaw, Dick Howser Award (most outstanding player development person)

Bradshaw, now the Royals’ hitting coach, spent the previous five seasons as the organization’s hitting coordinator, working with minor league players at all levels.

• Jeff Diskin, Matt Minker Award (outstanding minor league affiliate employee)

Diskin is the organization’s cultural development coordinator. He helps foreign-born players bridge the gap between the cultures in their home countries with the United States both on and off the field.

• Matt Price, Art Stewart Award (outstanding scout)

Price is in his 10th season in the organization and is starting his seventh full season as area scouting supervisor.