Gore among KC Minor League award winners

Gore among KC Minor League award winners

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Monday was a special morning for the Royals' Minor Leaguers as the organization honored its annual award winners.

The club also distributed championship rings to members of the Triple-A Omaha team for winning the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A championships.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer presented the Frank White defensive player of the year award to shortstop Humberto Arteaga, who posted a .970 fielding percentage at Class A Lexington, and who also was involved in 82 double plays.

"As an organization that prides itself in defense," Hosmer said, "Frank White set the standard with his eight Gold Gloves. And with that in mind, it's an honor to present this award."

Other award winners:

Right-hander Christian Binford won the Paul Splittorff award as the top Minor League pitcher in the organization. Binford, 22, posted a 2.88 ERA overall, pitching at Class A Advanced Wilmington, Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. He also participated in the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Futures All-Star Game and he was tabbed a Carolina League All-Star.

Right-hander Malcom Culver won the Mike Sweeney award, given to the player who best represents the organization on and off the field. Culver split last season between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, appearing in 44 games, while tallying 60 strikeouts in 65 innings.

Second baseman Angel Franco won the Carlos Fortuna award, which recognizes the player most dedicated to improving his English, work ethic and conduct. Franco spent 2014 at Northwest Arkansas, where he hit .234.

Outfielder Terrance Gore won the Willie Wilson baserunner of the year award. Gore, 23, was the Royals' 20th-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut last season, recording five steals and three runs scored in 11 regular season games, while he also had three steals in the postseason.

Infielder Whit Merrifield won the George Brett hitter of the year award as the top position player. Merrifield, 26, hit .319 splitting time between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha in 2014.

Minor League pitching coordinator Larry Carter won the Dick Howser player development person of the year award. Carter is in his 18th season in the organization.

Nick Leto, manager of Arizona operations, was the recipient of the Matt Minker award which recognizes an outstanding Minor League affiliate employee. Leto is in his eighth season with the Royals.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.