Five players honored with 2015 Royals team awards

Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis repeat as Player/Pitcher of the Year; Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Ben Zobrist share Special Achievement Award

The Kansas City Royals announced their 2015 team award winners today, which were voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the BWAA. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the Les Milgram Player of the Year, while relief pitcher Wade Davis earned the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year award. Both players earned those same honors in 2014. For the first time since 1991, there were multiple honorees for the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award as Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas and Ben Zobrist split the votes evenly.

Cain, 29, enjoyed another fantastic season in 2015, when was selected to his first All-Star Game and finished third in the American League Most Valuable Player voting. The right-handed hitting outfielder batted .307 with 34 doubles, six triples, 16 homers with a career-best 101 runs scored, becoming the first KC player to score at least 100 runs in a season since 2011. He also ranked second in the A.L. in stolen bases (28), while finishing fifth in batting average and runs scored. He started all 16 postseason games in center field, batting .258 with two doubles, a homer, 11 RBI, 11 runs scored and a Major League-best 11 walks. He is the first player to win the Les Milgram Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons since Billy Butler (2009-10).

Davis, 30, was once again one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the Majors. The right-hander went 8-1 with a microscopic 0.94 ERA (7 ER in 67.1 IP), while holding the opposition to a .144 batting average. His eight victories were tied for the most by a Major League relief pitcher in 2015, while his ERA was the lowest among all big league pitchers that threw at least 40.0 innings. Davis served as the Royals closer during two stints in the regular season, converting 17 of 18 save opportunities. He worked eight scoreless appearances in the postseason, going 1-0 with four saves in four opportunities and fanning 18 in just 10.2 innings. Davis becomes the first to earn Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year Honors in consecutive seasons since Greg Holland (2012-13).

Escobar, 29, earned his second Special Achievement Award, also being honored in 2012. The KC shortstop was selected to the 2015 All-Star Game, was named a Rawlings Gold Glove winner and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 American League Championship Series. Escobar hit .257 during the regular season with 20 doubles, five triples, three homers and 76 runs scored. He turned it on in the postseason, batting .329 with four doubles, three triples, a homer and 13 runs scored, which also included at least one hit in his final 15 postseason games to set a club record.

Moustakas, 27, captured his first postseason team award. He enjoyed an All-Star campaign, becoming the first Royal to be selected to the game with the Final Fan Vote, where he received over 19 million online votes. He hit .284 during the regular season with 34 doubles and set career highs in homers (22), RBI (82), runs scored (73), hits (156) and slugging percentage (.470). His 51 RBI after the All-Star break were eighth-most in the American League, while he recorded 43 multi-hit games in 2015 after collecting 45 combined in 2013-14. He started all 16 games at third base during the postseason, batting .215 with a double, a homer and eight RBI.

Zobrist, 34, was acquired by the Royals on July 28 from the Oakland Athletics and batted .284 with 16 doubles, a triple, seven homers and scored 37 runs in the final two months of the regular season. The switch-hitting utility man batted .303 with a team-record eight doubles, two homers and a Major League-best 15 runs scored during the postseason. Zobrist signed with the Chicago Cubs during the offseason.