The Kansas City Royals announced on Wednesday the organization's Minor League Player of the Year Awards for each of their affiliates. Infielder Frank Schwindel was tabbed Omaha's Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while southpaw reliever Richard Lovelady earned Pitcher of the Year honors.
Schwindel in 2018 broke the Omaha franchise's single-season doubles record by smashing 38 two-baggers while posting a .286 average (146-510), adding 65 runs, one triple, 24 homers and 93 RBI. He not only paced the Storm Chasers in many offensive categories, but was also among the Pacific Coast League's best, placing second in the circuit in doubles, total bases (258) and extra-base hits (63), in addition to third in hits (146) and tied for fourth in RBI.
The 26-year-old was also named a Pacific Coast League Mid-Season All-Star in 2018, starting as the circuit's Designated Hitter while recording three knocks. Schwindel was also named Omaha's Player of the Year following the 2017 campaign after accumulating a .321 mark (126-392) along with 51 runs, 30 doubles, 17 homers and 72 RBI.
Lovelady tallied a 3-3 record and 2.47 ERA (20 ER/73.0 IP) in his team-best 46 appearances in 2018 with Omaha, adding nine saves in 12 opportunities. The left-hander paced all qualified Pacific Coast League relief pitchers in baserunners per nine innings (9.37), in addition to finishing second in that company in walks per nine innings (2.22) as well as batting average against (.204).
The southpaw was not charged with an earned run in all but ten of his 46 outings in 2018. During a 14-game stretch from June 14 until August 2, Lovelady yielded a lone earned run over 27.0 frames while striking out 22 and holding opponents to a .148 batting average (13-88). He also recorded six or more outs in 22 of his 46 games with Omaha, which included four of his nine saves.
Schwindel and Lovelady will be honored on Futures Night at Kauffman Stadium prior to the Royals' scheduled contest on September 28 along with the rest of the organization's Player and Pitcher of the Year winners. The organization's George Brett Hitter of the Year Award, which was won last season by Schwindel, along with the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year Award will be announced during the offseason.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.