Guerrero Jr. also finds place among circuit's end-of-season All-Stars
Alex Kirilloff is hitting .332 with 28 RBIs in 193 at-bats for the Elizabethton Twins. (Chris Robertson/MiLB.com)
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | August 23, 2016 4:40 PM
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.