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Royals' Myers wins another award as top minor-league player

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, at 3:59 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at 11:45 a.m.

Outfielder Wil Myers added another award to his growing collection Tuesday when picked as this year’s recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps Minor League Player of the Year.

Myers, 21, is the third Royals’ prospect to win the award in its 53-year history. Outfielder Johnny Damon was the 1995 recipient, and then-third baseman Alex Gordon won it in 2006.

“I am honored to win this prestigious award from Topps and Minor League Baseball,” said Myers, who batted .314 with 37 homers and 109 RBIs while playing 35 games at Class AA Northwest Arkansas and 99 games at Class AAA Omaha.

“To join a list with great players such as Johnny Damon and Alex Gordon is extremely humbling for me.”

The award completes a sweep of the major minor-league honors for Myers, who was previously picked by Baseball America and USA Today as the minor-league player of the year.

Only two other players won all three awards in the same season: outfielder Andruw Jones, then with the Braves, in 1996; and right-handed pitcher Josh Beckett, then with the Marlins, in 2001.

Myers had two hits and three RBIs for the USA team on July 8 at the All-Star Futures Game in July at Kauffman Stadium. He was picked July 11 as the Pacific Coast League’s Star of Stars in its victory over the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game.

The Star recently cited Myers as the Royals’ top prospect, and he was picked in August as one of 12 players on the All-PCL team. The Royals selected Myers in the third round of the 2009 draft.

Sulbaran shut down

The Royals pulled right-hander J.C. Sulbaran from the roster of the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League because of continuing arm soreness.

Right-hander Malcom Culver will replace Sulbaran for the balance of the AFL schedule, which runs through Nov. 17. Culver, 22, was 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 37 games this season at Kane County.

Sulbaran pitched three innings on Oct. 19 in his only appearance for Surprise. He gave up two runs and four hits while striking out two and walking none.

The Royals acquired Sulbaran, who turns 23 next month, in the July 31 trade that sent reliever Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati. The Royals also acquired minor-league lefty reliever Donnie Joseph in the deal.

Sulbaran was 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA in six starts at Class AA Northwest Arkansas following the trade. He opened the season by going 7-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 19 starts at Class AA Pensacola.

Culver was an eighth-round pick in 2008 and played primarily as an infielder for three seasons before becoming a pitcher in 2011.

Winter numbers

Shortstop Orlando Calixte continues to excel in limited Fall League duty; he now has seven hits in 18 at-bats over four games for Surprise.

Calixte, 20, is limited to two games a week under his status as a taxi-squad player on the Saguaros’ roster. He was recently ranked by The Star as the No. 15 prospect in the Royals’ system.

Lefty Justin Marks is 2-0 in three starts for Surprise. He has allowed two earned runs in 81/3 innings. The Royals obtained Marks, 24, from Oakland with pitcher Vin Mazzaro in the Nov. 10, 2010 trade for outfielder David DeJesus.

Outfielder Whit Merrifield, 23, is batting .308 at eight for 26 in eight games for Surprise.

Veteran catcher/first baseman Max Ramirez, 28, is seven for 15 with eight runs in six games for Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League.

To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, send email to bdutton@kcstar.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.

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