KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Ernesto Mejia will bring some extra credentials with him when he reports to the Royals' Spring Training camp next month.
Mejia, a non-roster invitee to camp, has been named Most Valuable Player as well as Rookie of the Year for his performance in the Venezuelan Winter League. He's the first player in the league's history to win both awards in the same season.
An imposing 6-foot-6, 235-pounder, Mejia batted .292 and led the league with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs in 57 games for Aguilas del Zulia, now involved in the playoffs.
Mejia, from Guanare in Venezuela, was signed by the Royals on Dec. 11 as a Minor League free agent. He'd been playing in the Braves' organization.
Royals second baseman Alberto Callaspo, also playing for Zulia, batted .286 with one homer and 24 RBIs in 40 games.
Infielder Wilson Betemit, also invited to the Royals' camp, is in the Dominican Winter League playoffs with Gigantes del Cibao. He batted .301 in 47 regular-season games with eight homers and 36 RBIs as the Gigantes third baseman.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.