The Kansas City Royals have announced that rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer was selected as the 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner. The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The Joe Burke is awarded to an unsung player who contributed above and beyond what was expected, or someone who the writers felt deserved some recognition for an outstanding season.
Hosmer, who turned 22 on October 24, began the 2011 season with Omaha (AAA) before making his Major League debut on May 6. The Royals first-round selection (third overall) in 2008 hit .293 (153-for-523) with 27 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, 78 RBI and 66 runs scored. He led all qualified MLB rookies (min. 3.1 PA/game) in batting average, go-ahead RBI (26) and game-winning RBI (13). Hosmer also paced A.L. rookies in hits, runs and multi-hit games (42) while ranking second in RBI, doubles, total bases (243) and extra-base hits (49), third in home runs, walks (34) and slugging (.465), and fourth in on-base percentage (.334). The July A.L. Rookie of the Month either tied the game or gave the Royals the lead on 12 of his 19 home runs.
The Royals plan to announce the 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year tomorrow and the 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year on Thursday, November 3.