Merrifield, Kennedy Named Royals Player, Pitcher of the Month for June


Courtesy of the Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Royals announced today that infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield and right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for the month of June. The awards are determined by a local media vote.

Kansas City Royals Baseball can be heard all season long on Classic Hits 106.7 KQNK-FM in Northwest Kansas and Southeast Nebraska.

Royals Baseball is unavailable for internet streaming due to MLB restrictions.

Merrifield, 30, was named an American League All-Star for the first time on Sunday, and will represent the Royals at the All-Star Game in Cleveland on July 9. He led the Royals and finished third in the American League with 36 hits in June, his sixth consecutive 30-hit month dating back to last season (excluding March 2019). Merrifield batted .310 with four home runs and 14 RBI, including a hit in 23 of 27 games. On June 15 at Minnesota, he had a season-high-tying four hits, and three days later, on June 18 in Seattle, he recorded his second career multi-home run game and set a career high with six RBI. This is Merrifield’s fourth career Royals Player of the Month Award, including May 2019, August 2018 and June 2018.

Kennedy, 34, recorded a 0.96 ERA (1 ER in 9.1 IP) with 12 strikeouts (11.8 K/9) in 10 appearances last month. He posted eight saves in as many chances, matching three others for the Major League lead, although he and former Royal Will Smith were the only ones with at least eight without a blown save. Kennedy’s eight saves were the most by a Royal in the month of June since Greg Holland’s nine in 2015. Ian faced 36 batters and allowed just five hits and two walks, good for a 0.75 WHIP. This is Kennedy’s fourth career Royals Pitcher of the Month Award, including March/April 2019, August 2016 and May 2016.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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