Former Natural Mike Moustakas Named Sporting News Hitter of the Year

Former Naturals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been named the 2010 Sporting News Minor League Hitter of the Year. 

Moustakas tied for the minor league lead with a combined 36 home runs for the Naturals and Triple-A Omaha.  The Royals first-round pick (second overall) in 2007 batted .322 (156-for-484) with 41 doubles, 124 RBI and 94 runs scored, posting a slugging percentage of .630.  His RBI total was the second-most across all the minors.

The 21-year-old Northridge, Calif., resident has accumulated several honors throughout the 2010 season.  He made both the mid-season and post-season All-Star Teams in the Texas League, was selected as the Royals’ George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year, and was named as the Texas League Player of the Year.  In addition, Moustakas was chosen to represent the Royals in the All-Star Futures Game and was also honored as one of five finalists for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year.

In addition, catcher Wil Myers and relief pitcher Tim Collins were named to the Sporting News All-Minor League Team as the best player at their respective positions.  The Royals were the lone organization in baseball with multiple selections. 

The 19-year old Myers, who split the season between Class-A Burlington and Advanced Class-A Wilmington, batted a combined .315 with 37 doubles, 14 home runs, 83 RBI and 70 runs scored in 126 games.  He is a candidate to see time with the Naturals during the 2011 season. 

Collins, a 21-year old left-handed reliever with Triple-A Omaha, was acquired by the Royals in a late July trade with the Atlanta Braves.

In addition to Moustakas as Sporting News Hitter of the Year, the other winners were:

Pitcher of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson-TB, Rookie of the Year: Chris Sale-CWS.  The All-Minor League team consisted of: Catcher: Wil Myers-KC, First base: Brandon Belt-SF, Second base: Brett Lawrie-MIL, Shortstop: Nick Franklin-SEA, Third base: Brandon Laird-NYY, Outfielders: Dominic Brown-PHI; Mike Trout-LAA and Jerry Sands-LAD, Starting pitcher: Julio Teheran-ATL, Relief pitcher: Tim Collins-KC.