Morales named Outstanding DH Award winner

Royals slugger tops Ortiz to claim first honor

Morales named Outstanding DH Award winner

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales of the Royals is the 2015 winner of the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

Morales garnered 50 of the 88 first-place votes to capture the award for the first time in his nine-year career.

Boston's David Ortiz, a seven-time winner, finished second with 34 second-place votes after batting .267 with 35 doubles, 32 homers and 99 RBIs in 134 games as the Red Sox DH this past season.

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Former Royals Hal McRae (1976, '80 and '82) and Billy Butler (2012) have won the award previously.

Morales hit .295 with 39 doubles, 21 home runs, 104 RBIs and 78 runs in 141 games as DH for the Royals. Morales led the American League and ranked second in the Majors with 53 two-out RBIs. His total was the highest by a Royal, passing Joe Randa, who held the previous club record with 46 two-out RBIs in 2000.

Morales also finished with a .335 batting average in two-out situations, good for fourth in the AL, to go along with 18 doubles, a triple and 11 home runs.

Now in its 42nd season, the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award was renamed by former Commissioner Bud Selig in a September 2004 ceremony at Safeco Field in honor of retiring Seattle Mariners' great Edgar Martinez. Ballots are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and AL public relations departments with nominees including all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter.

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