Royals Announce Year End Awards

Naturals’ GM Edelstein wins Royals award
Giavotella, Seratelli, Herrera also honored

KANSAS CITY, MO — Northwest Arkansas Naturals general manager Eric Edelstein, first baseman/infielder Anthony Seratelli, pitcher Kelvin Herrera, and former Naturals second baseman and current Royals’ second baseman Johnny Giavotella were among those named Thursday as Kansas City Royals’ organizational award recipients for their on-field achievements during the 2011 season.

Previously, the club announced the following award recipients as voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Pitcher Bruce Chen was the selection for the 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year while Alex Gordon was the 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year. Rookie first baseman and former Natural Eric Hosmer was named the 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.

Eric Edelstein, general manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, is the recipient of the Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee. Edelstein has served as the Naturals GM since October of 2006, several months before the franchise played its first game. Prior to his time in Springdale, the Cleveland, Ohio, native served as the GM with the Wichita Wranglers for three seasons. Edelstein was a co-recipient of the 2008 Texas League Executive of the Year and a member of the 2008 class of 40-under-40 by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.

Anthony Seratelli is the recipient of the Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top baserunner. The versatile Seratelli, 28, stole 35 bases in 40 attempts and was named as the Naturals’ Player of the Year for the 2011 season. The switch hitter who hit .317 (20-for-63) with Surprise in the Arizona Fall League, was purchased by the Royals from the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Independent Frontier League on February 27, 2007.

Kelvin Herrera is the recipient of the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top pitcher. The 21-year-old rocketed through the system this season by posting dominant numbers out of the bullpen that earned him a spot on the World squad in the XM Futures All-Star Game. Herrera combined to go 7-1 with 14 saves and a 1.60 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Wilmington (Class-A Advanced), Northwest Arkansas, and Omaha (AAA). He had his contract selected by the Royals on September 21 and made two relief appearances. Born and raised in Tenares, Dominican Republic, Herrera signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on December 13, 2006.

Johnny Giavotella is the recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top hitter. Giavotella was hitting .338 with a minor league-leading 153 hits for Triple-A Omaha at the time of his call-up to the Royals on August 5. The second baseman had 34 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 72 RBI and 67 runs scored in 110 games for the Storm Chasers. The 24-year-old was a starter on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team, part of the 12-member All-PCL Team and recently named to the Topps Triple-A All-Star team. A Natural and Texas League All-Star during the 2010 Championship season, the University of New Orleans alum was the Royals’ second-round selection in the 2008 Draft.

Tim Melville is the recipient of the Mike Sweeney Award – recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field. The Royals’ fourth-round pick in 2008 volunteered himself for numerous hospital, community and other charitable works throughout the 2011 season with the Blue Rocks. Melville specifically volunteered for the non-paying community appearances, allowing his teammates the first crack at the compensated events. On the field, the 22-year-old from Wentzville, Mo., compiled an 11-10 record with a 4.32 ERA in 29 games, including 25 starts. After two seasons with Wilmington, Melville is expected to see time with the Naturals next season.

The honorees will be recognized at the Royals Awards Luncheon presented by Sprint and Teva on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. The event will take place at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan. Further details for all award winners are available at www.royals.com. The Naturals offer our heartfelt congratulations to all of the organization’s award recipients.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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