Pitcher Christian Binford and shortstop Raul Mondesi have been recognized as the Lexington Legends’ Pitcher and Player of the Year for 2013 by the Legends’ parent club, the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals named a pitcher and player of the year for each of their minor league affiliates. All of the players honored are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, September 20, where they will take part in an autograph session and an on-field presentation before the Royals game against the Texas Rangers.
The Royals’ top minor league awards, the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be announced later in the offseason.
Binford, 20, a right-hander, finished at 8-7 for the Legends in 2013. He ranked third in the South Atlantic League in earned run average at 2.67 and sixth in strikeouts with 130. He held right-handed batters to a .218 average and set a career high with 12 strikeouts in six shutout innings on July 28. He was a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star, and was named SAL Pitcher of the Week for July 22-28. During that week, he was 2-0 in two starts with an earned run average of 0.75. In 12 innings pitched, he allowed 10 hits, one run, walked two batters and struck out 17. Binford was Kansas City’s 30th-round selection in the June 2011 draft.
Mondesi, one of the youngest players in a full-season professional league, turned 18 on July 27. A switch-hitter, he batted .261 with seven home runs, 47 runs batted in and 24 stolen bases. Mondesi became only the second Legend in history to hit for the cycle when he tripled, homered, singled and doubled, in that order, in a 4-for-4 night at home against Kannapolis May 27. (Jordan Parraz had hit for the cycle in a 14-inning game in 2007.) Mondesi had two hits in two at bats in the SAL All-Star game. The son of 1994 National League Rookie of the Year Raul Mondesi, the younger Mondesi signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on his 16th birthday, July 27, 2011.
“Christian and Raul had outstanding seasons for the Legends, and represented the team well both on and off the field,” said Legends President/COO Andy Shea. “It was great to have them with us in 2013. This is a well-deserved honor for both players, and we’ll enjoy watching their progress in the future.”