The Kansas City Royals announced this morning that infielder Hunter Dozier and right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for the months of March/April. The awards are determined by a local media vote.
Dozier, 27, hit .349/.447/.686 (30-for-86) with a team-high-tying seven home runs and 17 RBI. He led the American League in March/April in slugging percentage and OPS (1.133) and ranked second in on-base percentage and fifth in batting average. Following a 3-for-27 (.111) start through April 9, Dozier hit .458/.549/.898 (27-for-59) over his next 17 games, with 12 extra-base hits and 14 RBI, including a career-high four hits and four RBI on April 27 vs. the Angels, in which he recorded his 10th go-ahead RBI, matching Christian Yelich for most in the Majors. His 10 go-ahead RBI (all in April) tied for third most by a Royal in any calendar month since at least 1974 (when data is available), trailing George Brett (12 in August 1980 and 11 in September 1975) andRaúl Ibañez (11 in July 2002). Dozier ended the month on a career-high eight-game hit streak en route to his first career Royals Player of the Month Award.
Kennedy, 34, transitioned to a full-time bullpen role for the first time in his career this season, and began it by holding opponents scoreless in 10 of 12 appearances with a 1.32 ERA (2 ER in 13.2 IP). The only American League pitchers with more innings and a lower ERA in March/April were: Sam Gaviglio (0.95 ERA in 19 IP), Ryne Stanek (1.20 ERA in 15 IP), Ty Buttrey (1.29 ERA in 14 IP) and Shane Greene (1.29 ERA in 14 IP). Kennedy recorded 19 strikeouts (12.51 K/9), four behind the American League lead among relievers. On March 30 vs. the White Sox, he pitched a scoreless ninth to record his first career save in his 293rd appearance (4th in relief). This is Kennedy’s third Royals Pitcher of the Month Award since joining the club in 2016, matching Brad Keller for second most among active Royals behind Danny Duffy (5).