After a banner year for the Royals, the boys in blue can add one more award to the trophy case.
Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Kendrys Morales has been awarded the 2015 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Of the 88 first-place awards cast, Morales took 50, earning the honor for the first time in his nine-year career. Boston’s David Ortiz, a seven-time winner of the ODH Award, came in second.
Morales finished the season with a .295 batting average, tallying 39 doubles, 21 home runs, 104 RBI and 78 runs scored in 141 games as DH for Kansas City. He joins only two other Royals who have ever been named the league’s top designated hitter, Hal McRae, who won the award in 1976, 1980, and 1982, and Billy Butler, who took home the title in 2012.
Morales became the first Royal to tally more than 100 RBI in a season since Butler drove home 107 in his All-Star 2012 season. He was named the Royals Majestic Player of the Month for September/October after hitting .316 (31-for-98) with 24 runs scored, seven doubles, seven homers and 16 RBI. He had a career day on September 20 in Detroit, becoming the first Royal to homer three times in a game since Danny Tartabull in 1991, and his 15 total bases set a franchise record. A major contributor in the Royals’ championship run, the cleanup hitter finished third in home runs (4) and seventh in RBI (10) among 2015 Postseason participants.
The Cuban native also became only the third player in Royals history to record a multi-homer game in the postseason, joining Hall of Famers George Brett and Willie Aikens, after hitting a pair of solo home runs in Game 1 of the ALDS against Houston.
The award, now in its 42nd season, is chosen through a ballot of club beat writers broadcasters and American League public relations departments. All players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as DH are eligible.