ROYALS INVITE 16 TO MAJOR LEAGUE SPRING TRAINING
KANSAS CITY, MO (January 25, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has invited 16 players to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. The Royals have invited seven pitchers, three catchers, three infielders and three outfielders.
Francisley Bueno, 30, made 15 starts last season for Monterrey in the Mexican Summer League. Born in Havana, Cuba, the left-hander now resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was signed by Kansas City as a minor league free agent on November 17, 2011.
23-year-old left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer will participate in his second Major League spring training. The Royals fourth round pick in 2009 out of Clemson University was 8-10 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 starts for Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2011, finishing third in the Texas League with 126 strikeouts.
Tommy Hottovy, 30, will make his first appearance in Major League spring training for his hometown Royals after inking a minor league deal on November 18, 2011. Born and raised in Kansas City and a graduate of Park Hill South High School and Wichita State University, the left-hander received his first big league call with the Red Sox in 2011, making eight relief appearances.
29-year-old right-hander Zach Miner makes his second straight appearance in Royals Major League camp, although he did not pitch last spring due to rehab from Tommy John surgery. Signed as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2011, Miner was 25-20 with a 4.24 ERA in 157 games (35 starts) for the Tigers from 2006-2009.
Recently rated as the top prospect in the Royals organization by Baseball America, Mike Montgomery, 22, will make his second consecutive appearance in Major League spring training. Montgomery was 5-11 with a 5.32 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) with Omaha last season. The 6-foot-4 left-hander was the Royals supplemental first round selection (36th overall) in 2008.
21-year-old right-hander Jake Odorizzi joins Royals Major League camp for the first time in his second season in the organization. Odorizzi was acquired with shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Milwaukee Brewers for pitcher Zack Greinke and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt on December 19, 2010. Born and raised in Illinois, he made 27 combined starts during the 2011 season between Wilmington (A Advanced) and Northwest Arkansas, and was named the Wilmington Pitcher of the Year.
Will Smith, 22, will join Major League spring training for the third straight year, the second with the Royals after the club acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels along with pitcher Sean O’Sullivan for infielder Alberto Callaspo on July 22, 2010. Smith, the 2011 Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year, led the Texas League with 13 wins and 161.1 innings pitched.
Cody Clark, 30, enters his sixth season in the Royals organization after playing in 2011 with Omaha (AAA). The resident of Conway, Ark., signed with Kansas City as a minor league free agent on October 26, 2006.
27-year-old Max Ramirez joins the Kansas City system after signing as a minor league free agent on December 14, 2011. The resident of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, has appeared in the Majors with the Texas Rangers in 2008 and 2010.
Julio Rodriguez, 22, was acquired by the Royals with left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Wilson Betemit on July 20, 2011. The Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic resident was a minor league All-Star in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and named the Dominican Tigers Player of the Year in 2008.
Tony Abreu, 27, is a switch-hitting infielder who has batted .251 in 146 career Major League games with the Dodgers (2007, 2009) and Diamondbacks (2010). The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic resident signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on December 1, 2011.
28-year-old switch-hitter Irving Falu batted .301 in 111 games for Omaha (AAA) last season. The Carolina, Puerto Rico resident was selected by the Royals in the 21st round in 2003.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 30, signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on January 18, 2012. The six-year Major League veteran from Evergreen, Colo., is a career .255 hitter with 137 doubles, 85 home runs and 261 RBI in 672 games for the Indians (2006), Padres (2007-09), A’s (2010-11) and Rockies (2011).
Greg Golson, 26, joins the Kansas City organization as a minor league free agent, signing on December 13, 2011. A native of Austin, Texas, Golson has seen time in the Majors with the Phillies (2008), Rangers (2009) and Yankees (2010-11).
22-year-old outfielder Wil Myers will be a part of Major League spring training for the first time in his career. The converted catcher and Royals third-round pick in 2009 followed up his 2011 season at Northwest Arkansas with a tremendous campaign in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .360 while finishing in the top three in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
Paulo Orlando, 26, was invited to his first big league camp. The right-handed hitting outfielder played at both Omaha and Northwest Arkansas in 2011. Acquired by Kansas City from the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2008 in exchange for pitcher Horacio Ramirez, Orlando is attempting to become the first player born in Brazil to make it to the Major Leagues.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 20. Workouts for pitchers begin the following afternoon, Tuesday, February 21. The remainder of the squad will report on Friday, February 24 and begin workouts for the 2012 campaign on Saturday afternoon, February 25.