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NATURALS 2022 PLAYER AND PITCHER OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

Tyler Gentry named 2022 Northwest Arkansas Naturals Player of the Year, Drew Parrish named Pitcher of the Year
Naturals 2022 Player of the Year Tyler Gentry and Pitcher of the Year Drew Parrish (Photos: Kelsey Chanler)
September 18, 2022

SPRINGDALE, Ark – The Kansas City Royals today announced the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 2022 Player and Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Tyler Gentry was named the Naturals’ Player of the Year, while left-handed starting pitcher Drew Parrish was named Northwest Arkansas’ Pitcher of the Year. Player of the Year –

SPRINGDALE, Ark – The Kansas City Royals today announced the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 2022 Player and Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Tyler Gentry was named the Naturals’ Player of the Year, while left-handed starting pitcher Drew Parrish was named Northwest Arkansas’ Pitcher of the Year.

Player of the Year – Tyler Gentry

Drafted by the Royals in the 3rd Round of the 2020 Draft out of the University of Alabama, Gentry began his second professional season in High-A Quad Cities but was assigned to Northwest Arkansas June 14 and remained with the Naturals through the end of the Year. The 23-year-old appeared in 73 games, slashing .321/.417/.555 (88-for-274), with 32 extra-base hits (16 home runs) and 63 runs batted in. Gentry made starts in left and right field, as well as designated hitter, leading the team in outfield assists with nine this season.

Despite not joining Northwest Arkansas’ lineup until late in the second half, he ranked near the top in virtually every offensive statistic, including batting average (1st), slugging percentage (1st), OPS (.972 – 1st), on-base percentage (2nd), home runs (16 – 2nd), RBI (63 – 3rd) and total bases (152 – 5th). Not only was he one of the Naturals’ best hitters this season, but he was also one of the top offensive producers in the Texas League from his arrival in the circuit through the end of the season. Among Texas League hitters from June 14 – September 18, he ranked among the league leaders in total bases (2nd), runs batted in (2nd), on-base percentage (3rd), slugging percentage (3rd), OPS (3rd), hits (4th), home runs (4th), runs scored (tied 5th) and batting average (6th).

For the Week of June 27 – July 3, Gentry was named the Texas League’s Player of the Week, as he hit .435 (10-for-23) with 2 doubles, 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in on the road against the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Between July 30 and September 4, Gentry reached base in 28 consecutive games, the second-longest on-base streak in Naturals franchise history. In that span, he hit .356 (36-for-101) with 10 extra-base hits and 20 walks, and an astonishing .485 on-base percentage.

When combining his numbers across 108 games between Quad Cities and Northwest Arkansas, Gentry ranks eighth in MiLB in batting average (.326), 12th in OPS (.964) and 13th in on-base percentage) among all Full Season Minor League hitters (through games played on September 18).

2022 Naturals Player of the Year Tyler Gentry hit .321 with 16 home runs and 63 runs batted in over 73 games with Northwest Arkansas. David McLelland

Pitcher of the Year – Drew Parrish

Drafted by the Royals in the 8th Round of the 2019 Draft out of the Florida State University, Parrish opened his third professional season with Northwest Arkansas, after finishing 2021 with the Naturals and anchored himself as the ace of the starting Naturals and pitching staff over the first two months of the season. The 24-year-old made 10 starts, including Opening Night, for Northwest Arkansas, and went 4-3 with a 2.13 ERA (13 ER in 55.0 IP), while striking out 48 and walking just 14 (3.43 K/BB). After making his 10th start of the season on June 1, Parrish was promoted to Triple-A Omaha, where he has pitched in 16 games and is anticipated to finish the season.

Parrish was named the Texas League’s Pitcher of the Month in May, as the southpaw started five games and went 3-1 with a 0.59 ERA (2 ER in 30.2 IP), only allowing 15 hits and four walks. He struck out 29 opposing hitters in the season’s second month and among qualified Texas League pitchers, threw the most innings and had the lowest ERA and WHIP (0.62), while holding opponents to a .144 average. His efforts that month, including 7.0-inning scoreless starts on May 7 in Springfield and May 13 vs. Wichita earned him back-to-back Pitcher of the Week honors.

Over four starts from May 7 to May 26, Parrish did not allow an earned run in 25.2 innings, the longest for a Naturals pitcher since 2018. Despite throwing just 55.0 innings for the Naturals, which ranked ninth among the team’s pitchers this season, Parrish ended the year having throwing the most 1-2-3 innings, 28 times retiring the opposing team in order in an inning, over half of the innings he pitched for the Naturals. Additionally, four quality starts (min. 6.0 IP, max 3 ER) ranked second on the pitching staff.

2022 Naturals Pitcher of the Year Drew Parrish started 10 games for Northwest Arkansas with a 2.13 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 55.0 innings. Alan Jamison

Parrish and Gentry, along with the additional Royals affiliate Players and Pitchers of the Year will be honored at Kauffman Stadium on Friday, September 23 on Futures Night, including Quad Cities River Bandits Player of the Year Luca Tresh and Pitcher of the Year Emilio Márquez, who finished their 2022 seasons with Northwest Arkansas.

The Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information, including season tickets, mini packs, group events, and more, visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.