SS Bobby Witt Jr., LHP Cole Ragans, 3B Maikel Garcia win Royals’ 2023 team awards

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Posted at 1:58 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 14:58:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Left-hander Cole Ragans was chosen as the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year and third baseman Maikel Garcia was picked as the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.

Members of Kansas City’s BBWAA voted on the honors.

Witt, 23, repeated as the Royals’ player of the year after becoming the first player two win the award in each of his first big-league season with the club.

He also became the first Kansas City player to record a 30-30 season — socking 30 home runs with 49 stolen bases, which ranked second in the American League.

Witt, who led the majors with 11 triples, also ranked among the AL leaders in hits (third, 177), total bases (third, 317), runs scored (seventh, 97), extra-base hits (eighth, 69) and batting average (tied for ninth, .276).

Ragans, 25, established himself as the Royals’ ace after he was acquired June 30 in a trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers.

Despite making only 12 starts for Kansas City, Ragans was impressive — going 5-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 71 2/3 innings with 89 strikeouts, earning AL Pitcher of the Month in August after posting an ML-best 1.72 ERA in six starts that month.

As for his goal for next season, “Take the things that I learned this year about myself and continue to run through my mind what things I really need to work on this offseason,” Ragans said.

He also hopes to win ball games for a resurgent Royals squad.

Finally, Garcia, 23, who was called up one month into the season after starting the year at Class AAA Omaha, batted .272 with 20 doubles, 23 stolen bases and 50 RBIs in 123 games.

He was particularly comfortable at Kauffman Stadium — where he slashed .313/.351/.417, trailing only Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz (.363) and Texas’ Corey Seager (.337) for the AL’s best home batting average.

Garcia also ranked among the top defensive third baseman in the majors.