Bobby Witt Jr., Scott Barlow named Royals Player/Pitcher of the Month for June


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KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced this morning that infielder Bobby Witt Jr. and right-handed pitcher Scott Barlow have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for June. The awards are determined by a local media vote.

Witt Jr. tied for the team lead with 26 hits and 5 home runs in June and ranked 2nd with 15 RBI. Of his 26 hits, 10 went for extra bases (38.5%), including 3 doubles and a team-high 2 triples. He hit safely in 15 of 20 games from June 8 through the month’s end, slashing .316/.365/.566 (24-for-76) with 9 extra-base hits, including his first career multi-homer game—and first career game with at least 4 RBI—on June 21 in Anaheim, in which he became the fourth Royal age 22 or younger to record a multi-homer game, joining Eric Hosmer (Aug. 31, 2011), Billy Butler (Aug. 30, 2008) and Carlos Beltrán (June 5, 1999). He tripled on the first pitch he saw on June 24 vs. the Athletics, which marked his fifth triple of the season to match the Mets Brandon Nimmo for the Major League lead, while he’s just 1 triple shy of matching the Royals record for a player in his first big league season. Witt Jr. swiped 5 bases in June, and he’s already one of just three players in Royals history to record 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in his first Major League season, joining Hosmer (2011) and Alex Gordon (2007). This marks the first career monthly award for Witt Jr., who made his Major League debut on Opening Day against the Guardians. Witt Jr. is the first to win Royals Player of the Month honors in his first big league season since Eric Hosmer won in May and September of his 2011 debut season.

Barlow ranked 8th among American League pitchers—and led all Royals—with 5 saves in June, while pitching to a 2.84 ERA (4 ER in 12.2 IP), however 3 of those runs came in a single outing on June 21 in Anaheim, as he worked a 0.77 ERA (1 ER in 11.2 IP) over his other 11 appearances. He held opponents scoreless in 10 of his 12 games and struck out 15 batters (10.66 SO/9) with just 3 walks allowed. The right hander earned a save in back-to-back appearances from June 15-18 and June 29-July 1. He sealed the Royals final win of the month with a 1-2-3 9th inning and 2 strikeouts on Wednesday vs. the Rangers, which marked his 200th career Major League outing. Three of his 5 saves last month came in outings in which he recorded at least 4 outs, and his 6 saves of at least 1.1 innings—including last night in Detroit—are tied with Jorge López for the most such saves in the Majors this season. This marks Barlow’s third career monthly award and first since winning the honor in back-to-back months last May and June, when he pitched to a 1.59 ERA (4 ER in 22.2 IP) with 37 strikeouts spanning both months.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
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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