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Kirilloff, Castillo earn top Appy honors

Guerrero Jr. also finds place among circuit's end-of-season All-Stars
August 23, 2016

Twins first-round pick Alex Kirilloff and Royals lefty Cristian Castillo took home the Appalachian League's top two honors Tuesday when the circuit revealed its end-of-season All-Stars and award winners.

Kirilloff, an outfielder with Rookie-level Elizabethton, was named Appy League Player of the Year after hitting .332 in 48 games. Castillo, who tops the league in strikeouts and WHIP for Burlington, was voted Pitcher of the Year. Royals skipper Scott Thorman was selected as the All-Star squad's manager.

Kirilloff, an 18-year-old from Plum High School in Pittsburgh, hit .332 with six homers and 28 RBIs in his first 48 professional games after Minnesota selected him in the first round this June. He owns a .359 on-base percentage, ranks fifth in the league with 91 total bases and fourth in average.

Castillo, 21, is 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 10 starts for the Royals. He's struck out 64, walked just 10 and allowed three homers in 62 innings, earning one complete-game shutout along the way. He ranks first in the league in innings pitched in additional to strikeouts and WHIP, and he's also fourth in in ERA.

Even casual baseball fans will recognize one big name on the squad: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the 17-year-old son of former Major League slugger Vlad Guerrero. The young outfielder hit .278 with eight homers, 43 RBIs, 15 steals and a .363 OBP in 54 games for Bluefield in his first Minor League season.

Johnson City sent four players to the team: catcher Andrew Knizer, second baseman J.R. Davis, shortstop Allen Cordoba and utility outfielder Matt Fiedler. Princeton's Ethan Clark was selected as the league's top right-handed pitcher opposite Castillo.

The full roster is below:

Andrew Knizner C Johnson City STL
Bobby Melley 1B Princeton TB
J.R. Davis 2B Johnson City STL
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Bluefield TOR
Allen Cordoba SS Johnson City STL
Nicky Lopez UT INF Burlington KC
Lewin Diaz DH Elizabethton MIN
Eleardo Cabrera OF Princeton TB
Alex Kirilloff* OF Elizabethton MIN
Kort Peterson OF Burlington KC
Matt Fiedler UT OF Johnson City STL
Ethan Clark RHP Princeton TB
Cristian Castillo LHP Burlington KC
Patrick McGuff Reliever Elizabethton MIN
Scott Thorman Manager Burlington KC
* Player of the Year
† Pitcher of the Year

Danny Wild is an editor for Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter.