In 2016, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer surpassed 20 homers and 100 RBIs for the first time, and left-hander Danny Duffy recorded a breakout season, posting a 3.51 ERA with a career-high 188 strikeouts.
On Thursday, they reaped awards for their performances. Hosmer was voted the club’s Les Milgram Player of the Year, while Duffy was selected the team’s Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year. In addition, outfielder Jarrod Dyson was honored with the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award. All three awards are voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
To the numbers. Hosmer, 27, batted .266 with a .433 slugging percentage and set career highs in home runs (25) and RBIs (104) in 2016. He also earned his first All-Star appearance, starting at first base for the American League, and was voted MVP for the game after homering off former Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto, who started the game for the National League. After debuting with the Royals in 2011, Hosmer is entering his final season before reaching free-agency for the first time.
Duffy, 28, made his case as the Royals’ best starter in 2016, putting up career highs in wins (12), starts (26), innings (179.2) and strikeouts (188). By October, he had matched Larry Gura for the best winning percentage (.800) in franchise history among pitchers with at least 15 decisions.
The sterling performance moved the Royals to offer Duffy a long-term deal in the offseason. Earlier this month, he agreed to a five-year $65 million contract that will keep him in Kansas City through 2021.
Dyson, meanwhile, was honored after leading Royals position players in Wins Above Replacement, according to the FanGraphs version of the statistic. He set career highs in batting average (.278), doubles (14) and triples (eight). He also racked up 30 steals, tying for second in the American League. He was dealt to the Seattle Mariners on Jan. 6 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns.