Myers, Surprise teammates gear up for Championship
Rough going of late for ex-Naturals in winter leagues
SURPRISE, AZ – Wil Myers along with Christian Colon, Jeremy Jeffress, Anthony Seratelli, Nate Adcock, Brendan Lafferty, and Bryan Paukovits are spending the final few days in the Arizona Fall Leagues preparing to compete for a championship.
Their club, the Surprise Saguaros, 25-10 on Wednesday, had clinched the three-team AFL West Division and will face the Salt River Rafters for the Arizona Fall League Championship on Saturday. The game will be broadcast to a national television audience at 2 P.M. Central Time on MLB Network, which is available on Cox Cable in Northwest Arkansas on channel 128 (2128 in high definition).
Monday, Adcock took a perfect game into the fifth inning, finishing with one hit over five dominant frames for his second win as Surprise blanked Phoenix. The Royals’ right-hander was unhittable through four innings until the Yankees’ Ronnier Mustelier drove a leadoff grounder up the middle to start the fifth frame. Jeffress, Lafferty, and Paukovits have been dominant of late out of the Saguaros’ pen, and Myers has been one of the loop’s best hitters.
In the final AFL report next week, we’ll recap the game and the final cumulative stats for these Royals’ prospects, who have all made key contributions to helping Surprise contend for a Fall League crown and the best record in the near two-decade run for the league.
Check back on nwanaturals.com for updates on the progress of these players. You can also get updates by following the Naturals on Facebook and Twitter.
Naturals/Texas League Notes
Former Royals bench coach to manage Missions: John Gibbons, who was the bench coach for the Royals for the past three seasons, was hired by the San Diego Padres to manage the Texas League Champion San Antonio Missions. Gibbons is a San Antonio resident. The remainder of the Missions’ coaching staff is unchanged…The Midland RockHounds announced that skipper Steve Scarsone and his staff will return for the 2012 season…Springfield, Frisco, Corpus Christi, and the Travelers join the Naturals as teams yet to make announcements with regard to their 2012 field staff.
Winter Ball Updates: Several other current and former Naturals are honing their craft this off-season playing in various winter leagues that span the globe.
In Puerto Rico, Naturals’ infielder Rey Navarro has seen his early season winter struggles continue for Criollos de Caguas, where he has a lone hit in six games, although he’s drawn three walks. Irving Falu (Indios de Mayaguez) has also had a slump of late and has a .200 average thus far. Falu is teammates in Mayaguez with former Natural and current Houston Astros shortstop Angel Sanchez, who is batting .250 with a pair of RBI in eight games.
In the Venezuelan Winter League, Mario Lisson (Navegantes de Magallanes) hasn’t gotten a hit in almost a week, causing his average to dip to .239. Former Natural Jose Duarte (Leones de Caracas) has been ice cold, with just one hit in his past ten games. Ernesto Mejia (Aguilas del Zulia) continues to be a beacon of consistency as he’s got four homers and 16 RBI’s to go along with a .276 average, while Manny Pina (Bravos de Margarita) is hitless in two at-bats in the past week and has seen his average drop to .148.
In the Dominican League, Naturals’ right-hander Manauris Baez (Estrellas de Oriente) made his most recent start last Wednesday and it wasn’t as good as his first four, as he allowed two runs in 4 1/3… Mario Santiago (Tigres del Licey) had an excellent start Monday, allowing a run in six innings to record his second win in three starts…Willy Lebron, Santiago’s rotation-mate in Licey and fellow Royals’ farmhand, hasn’t pitched since November 6th… Kelvin Herrera (Leones del Escogido) continues to mount a resume for 2012, as he’s gone scoreless in all eight of his outings. He’s teammates with Everett Teaford, who pitched 5 2/3 scoreless in his last outing and lowered his ERA to 3.57 in four starts.
In other leagues, former Natural Federico Castaneda (Tomateros de Culiacan) had a scoreless outing on Sunday and lowered his ERA to 7.84 thus far in the Mexican League, while former Naturals’ southpaw Paul Mildren (Adelaide Bite) pitched eight innings, allowing just one run in his most recent start in the Aussie Winter League. Mildren has not pitched stateside since the 2009 season.
These teams and respective leagues will play the round-robin Caribbean Series which takes place in February just before early reports for Major League Spring Training.
Transaction log: Veteran big league Matt Treanor, who was with the Naturals on a rehab assignment when he was traded to the Texas Rangers in a cash transaction on August 31st, signed a one-year contract Wednesday to be the Los Angeles Dodgers’ backup catcher. The 35-year old Treanor spent most of last season in Kansas City and batted .214 with three homers and 22 RBI’s in 72 games last season. Treanor, who batted .263 in seven games in Northwest Arkansas, picked up an AL Championship ring for the second consecutive season with the Texas Rangers… Former Natural David Lough is done with winter ball. He heads home for the off-season after batting .200 with one homer in 70 AB for Aguilas Cibaenas.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.