The Kansas City Royals on Monday announced the winners of their minor league honors from the 2016 season, with a trio of Storm Chasers players from last year recognized.Infielder/outfielder Hunter Dozier was tabbed the George Brett Hitter of the Year, while right-hander Jake Junis earned Paul Splittorff Award honors and righty Yender Caramo received the Carlos Fortuna Award.
Dozier played in 129 games between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha in 2016, combining for a .296 average (144-486), adding 79 runs, 44 doubles, one triple, 23 homers and 75 RBI. He paced all Royals farmhands in home runs, in addition to ranking fourth in RBI, in addition to placing second in the Pacific Coast League with 36 doubles despite playing the first month of the year in the Texas League.
The 25-year-old's contract was selected by the Royals on September 1 before going on to make his Major League debut 11 days later versus the Oakland Athletics. In eight Major League contests he posted a .211 mark (4-19) with four runs, one double and one RBI. Dozier was selected by Kansas City in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft as the eighth overall pick out of Stephen F. Austin University.
Junis recorded a 10-10 clip and 4.05 ERA (67 ER/149.0 IP) in 27 starts between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. In 21 outings with the Naturals he compiled a 9-7 tally and 3.25 ERA (43 ER/119.0 IP), along with 117 strikeouts. He finished the year tied for first among Royals minor league hurlers in wins along with right-hander Corey Ray, as well as second in that group in strikeouts (143) behind only right-hander Josh Staumont (167).
The 24-year-old finished the 2016 campaign with the Storm Chasers, and is poised to begin 2017 with the club after being optioned to Omaha's roster earlier Monday by the Royals. He was selected by Kansas City in the 29th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Rock Falls High School in Illinois.
Caramo, 25, pitched all but one of his outings in the 2016 season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, combining for a 6-7 record and 2.98 ERA (32 ER/117.2 IP) in 35 outings (ten starts) between the Naturals and Storm Chasers. He earned the win in his Triple-A debut and only appearance with Omaha with 3.2 frames of one-run ball on July 7 at Oklahoma City.
He received the Carlos Fortuna Award, which is given to "a player who is dedicated to improving his English, work ethic and conduct" per the Royals' release. Caramo was signed by Kansas City as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela on November 22, 2010.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.