Tag Archive | "League Champion"

Royals Winter League Wrap Up


SPRINGDALE, AR –Although the 2012 minor league season officially ended in September, 20 current and former Northwest Arkansas Naturals continued their work on the diamond as they participated in the Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Australian Winter Leagues. With pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training in less than two weeks, all of the former Naturals have completed their winter seasons.

Puerto Rican League Wrap-up

The Puerto Rican League welcomed five Naturals alums, but a recent Natural created the most headlines. Christian Colon was named the Puerto Rican League Rookie of the Year. The Royals first round pick (fourth overall) in 2010, Colon led the league with 13 stolen bases in 39 games for the Leones de Ponce (Ponce Lions). While at the plate, Colon batted .301 with eight doubles and 26 runs scored. In 2012, Colon played in 73 games with the Naturals, batting .289 with nine doubles and 13 stolen bases and five home runs. A Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, Colon finished the season with Triple-A Omaha. Colon has earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training with the Royals.

Infielder Rey Navarro finished second in the league with a .333 batting average in 114 at-bats and 18 RBI for league champion Criollos de Caguas (Caguas Creoles).  In 2012, Navarro appeared in 109 games for the Naturals before being promoted to Omaha on August 18.

Infielder Irving Falu led the league with 30 runs scored and four triples while playing for Indios de Mayaguez (Mayaguez Indians). Falu batted .324 with eight doubles and 16 RBI in 36 games.  A member of the 2008 Naturals squad, Falu spent 2012 with both Kansas City and Omaha and is on the Royals 40-man roster.

Outfielder Geraldo Valentin, another member of the Naturals’ inaugural team, drove in 10 runs while batting .277 for Cangrejeros de Santurce (Santurce Crabbers). Valentin batted .250 with 10 doubles and 19 RBI in 70 games during his lone season with the Naturals.

Pitcher Kelvin Villa went 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA in nine games for Criollos de Caguas. Villa was also named a Post-Season All-Star. Villa was 1-0 in nine appearances during his time with the Naturals in 2010.

Venezuelan League Wrap-up

2011 Naturals catcher Salvador Perez earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League as a member of Tiburones de La Guaira (La Guaira Sharks). Perez batted .371 in 32 games with eight home runs, 10 doubles and 39 RBI with a .412 On Base Percentage. As a Natural, Perez was named to the 2011 Texas League Mid and Post-Season All-Star teams. Perez, who missed the early part of the 2012 season due to injury, batted .301 in 76 games for Kansas City and is the projected starting catcher for the Royals for 2013.

Perez wasn’t the only former Natural to end the Venezuelan League campaign with an award, as Juan Gutierrez was named the Venezuelan League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Gutierrez was 1-1 with a 0.81 ERA, 14 saves and 21 strikeouts in 24 appearances for Leones del Caracas (Caracas Lions).  Gutierrez recorded three saves in five games with the Naturals in 2012 after reporting to the team in July following rehab outings in the Arizona League. Gutierrez has also spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues, each with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Outfielder Mario Lisson batted .262 with four doubles, five home runs and 26 RBI in 43 games with Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellen’s Navigators).  Lisson has worn the Naturals uniform in every season except 2010, and is the franchise leader in games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBI.

Paulo Orlando hit seven doubles and drove in 16 runs in 32 games with Cardenales de Lara (Lara Cardinals). Orlando’s .346 batting average would have finished second in the Venezuelan League, but Orlando didn’t have the required number of plate appearances. Orlando has spent the last three seasons with the Naturals and is the franchise leader with 18 triples.

Ernesto Mejia was named the Most Valuable Player for the Venezuelan League, batting .298 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI in 62 games as a member of Cardenales de Lara. An Opening Day starter and member of the 2010 Texas League Champion Naturals, Mejia spent 2012 in the Atlanta Braves organization at Triple-A Gwinnett (Ga.).

Pitcher Victor Marte was 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 games for Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellen’s Navigators). Marte was 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 games with the Naturals in 2009. Marte made his Royals debut that season, winning three of his 22 relief appearances.

Pitcher Dusty Hughes was 1-0 in 12 games for Navegantes del Magallanes. Hughes didn’t surrender a run in 9 1/3 innings pitched. Hughes was 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 20 games for the Naturals in 2008.

Dominican League Wrap-up

Catcher Julio Rodriguez appeared in one game for Gigantes del Cibao (Cibao Giants), striking out in his lone plate appearance. Rodriguez spent his first full AA season with the Naturals in 2012, with a .234 average and 17 RBI in 67 games.

Pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon pitched in two games with Leones del Escogido (Escogido Lions). In five innings of work, Marimon struck out two batters and surrendered one run. Marimon made 12 starts for the Naturals last season, posting a 3-6 record with a 4.59 ERA. Marimon was named a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star in 2012.

Pitcher Carlos Rosa appeared in three games for league champion Gigantes del Cibao (Cibao Giants), giving up three earned runs in nine innings. Rosa went 4-2 with a 1.20 ERA in eight starts with the Naturals in 2008. Rosa pitched in two games for the Royals that season, giving up a run in 3 1/3 innings of work. Rosa’s last appearance in the Royals organization was with Triple-A Omaha in 2010.

Pitcher Roman Colon spent time in the Dominican League as a member of Gigantes as well as in the Mexican Pacific League with Yaquis de Obregon. Colon was 0-2 in 10 games with Gigantes and concluded the season with a 0-0 record in two appearances with three-time defending Mexican Pacific League champion Yaquis. Colon was 2-0 with a save in 10 games with the Naturals in 2008.

Pitcher Willy Lebron was 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 16 games for Estrellas de Oriente. Lebron was 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 23 games for the Naturals in 2011.

Outfielder Jamie Romak hit .280 in six games with Toros del Este (Este Bulls). Romak spent part of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 season with the Naturals, playing in 168 games with the franchise while hitting 29 home runs and driving in 87 runs. Romak spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Omaha and in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Australian League Wrap-up

Outfielder Carlo Testa was the lone player with Naturals ties in the Land Down Under this winter. Testa played in 46 games for the Melbourne Aces, batting .294 with seven doubles and six home runs with 19 RBI. Testa also stole 10 bases for the Aces. In 2012, Testa completed his first season at the Double-A level with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 113 games.

Mexican Pacific League Wrap-up

Outfielder Cory Aldridge batted .268 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI in 61 games for Tomateros de Culican (Culican Tomato Growers). A member of the inaugural Naturals team, Aldridge batted .269 with six doubles and 10 home runs and 40 RBI in 49 games for the Naturals in 2008 and was named the Texas League Player of the Week for August 25.

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.

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Searching for meaning

The Kansas City Royals started their Cactus League schedule on Sunday with a 6-1 win over their campus mate Texas Rangers. A win as a good way to start the exhibition season, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that having any type baseball broadcast over any medium was a cause for celebration. I’m also confident that by the second game on Monday afternoon I was not the only person trying to figure if any of the individual player performances in these games mean anything.

As much as I’d like to tell myself that a 4-3 record for the Royals at this point in spring training is a good omen. Baseball fan experience tells me it doesn’t mean a whole lot. They do not give out Cactus League Championship rings. They don’t hang Cactus League Championship Banners at Kauffman Stadium, and if they do print Cactus League Championship t-shirts no one should wear them. In fact, the phrase “Cactus League Champion” is so irrelevant that a Google search only brings up four returns, and one of those was from the Royals Review message board.

The Royals have won the Cactus League twice since I’ve been paying close enough attention to notice these things. In 2006 the Royals won the Cactus League and proceeded to lose 100 games during the season. Last year the Royals won the Cactus League and only won 71 games. While it’s good to not look terrible in spring training, winning a lot of games during spring training doesn’t mean that much.

Spring Training is about established major leaguers getting their work in, deciding some position battles, and fringe players catching on with an organization. I have some interest in these battles, but not a whole lot. Other than hoping prospects live up to their potential I’m more concerned that the Royals break camp healthy, and the young players continue their improvement. Only way to improve is to get reps in major league situations. As I fan I don’t have much involvement in that. Nor do I really have any favorites to make the team, just as long as the best players break camp.

Outside of position battles is there any meaning in spring training? Only baseball for baseball’s sake. It’s been a long winter and it’s nice to have any baseball. This is my first spring training with access to MLB Network, and the MLBatBat App on my phone. My access to baseball has never been better. Not only is fan access better, during March the inventory of baseball is greater than during the regular season. With split squad contests, there are 18 games on the schedule today. During the regular season there can only be 15. I guess spring training is a lot like spring break. Don’t look for meaning, just enjoy the experience.

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Spring Training Report #3: Let the Games Begin

SPRINGDALE, AR – The Kansas City Royals are just two games into the spring season, but already have shown a winning attitude.  They dominated the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers in a 6-1 win to open the year, and used a late rally to win 7-6 in their second game.

Many former Naturals have been a part of the team’s early spring success.  Johnny Giavotella scored two runs in the first game, while Mike Moustakas had a pair of hits and an RBI in game one.  Giavotella continues to have the upper hand in the battle with Chris Getz to be the Royals starting second baseman, but Getz has shown a better ability to drive the ball so far this spring.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, a non-roster invitee to spring training, capped the 6-5 win in game two with a two-run double in the ninth inning to drive home former Naturals Moustakas and Wil Myers.  Myers has picked up where he left off last fall in the Arizona Fall League this spring.  He has gone 2-for-4 so far this spring and scored twice in just two games.  Myers is trying to make the step up to Triple-A Omaha to start the 2012 season.  Derrick Robinson, who is trying to make that same step, also had a big day Monday for the Royals delivering a two-run single in yesterday’s game.

The Royals are in action Tuesday playing in two games (split squad) against San Diego and Cleveland.  The minor league affiliates will begin playing spring games next Thursday March 15th.  The last minor league game this spring will be March 28th.

Naturals/Texas League Notes

Naturals in Other CampsJuan Abreu (2009) allowed one run in one inning of work so far this spring for the Astros.  Abreu, who made his major league debut with Houston last season is trying to make the team in a relief role.  Angel Sanchez (2008) is in camp with Houston as a non-roster invitee but has yet to see any game action for the Astros.  Kila Ka’aihue (2008) has gone 2-for-10 thus far in three games for the Oakland Athletics.  He is competing for playing time at first base and designated hitter with Daric Barton and former Texas leaguer Chris Carter (Midland, 2009).  Ka’aihue is out of options, and must make the big league roster or be exposed to waivers prior to being sent to the minor leagues.  Jeff Fulchino (2008) made his debut for the Nationals this spring tossing a scoreless inning March 4 against Houston.  Other former Naturals in spring training this season include a trio of players who are in camp with the Atlanta Braves, Dusty Hughes (2008), first baseman Ernesto Mejia (2010), and outfielder Jordan Parraz (2009).  Parraz has gone 2-for-4 with an RBI so far this spring, while Mejia is 1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.  Hughes made his first appearance on March 3 throwing a scoreless inning against the Detroit Tigers while surrendering a pair of hits.  Former Natural Jeff Bianchi, who is in major league camp with the Milwaukee Brewers, made the highlight real last night tripping on two different occasions while trying to score on a botched fly ball in a game versus the San Francisco Giants. Bianchi had singled off Giants’ ace reliever Sergio Romo.

Transactions:  Former Natural Dan Cortes failed his physical last week.  This voided his minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, making him a free agent.  Longtime Natural Blake Johnson was signed to a minor league deal by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday March 2nd.   Johnson is the only player to suit up for Northwest Arkansas in all four seasons of their existence.  This season the right-hander will either find himself at Double-A Chattanooga or Triple-A Albuquerque.

Other Injury Notes: Felipe Paulino experienced some tightness in his hamstring last week during camp, but it does not appear to be something that will be a long term issue at this point.  Manny Pina is expected to miss the rest of spring training as he recovers from knee surgery, while Paulo Orlando who is recovering from surgery for a sports hernia is expected to be back soon for the Royals.

Check nwanaturals.com for our Spring Training Report, where we’ll continue to follow Royals’ minor leaguers in spring training as well as cover other baseball information that pertains to the Naturals and the Texas League.

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.

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Royals Announce Minor League Personnel


KANSAS CITY, MO (January 9, 2012) – The Kansas City Royals have announced the minor league coaching staffs for the 2012 season. The Royals also named their minor league coordinators for next season.

Courtesy of Erika Lynn

Affiliate staffs:

The leader of the defending Pacific Coast League champion Omaha Storm Chasers remains intact, as 2011 Mike Coolbaugh award winner Mike Jirschele returns to his managerial post for a 10th-consecutive season. The Wisconsin native also managed the club from 1995-1997 and is a four-time winner of the Dick Howser Award (1992, 1994, 2005 and 2011). Doug Henry will tutor the pitchers at Omaha for the third straight season while Tommy Gregg will serve his fourth season as the hitting coach. Dave Iannicca and Joey Greany will serve as the trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals return Brian Poldberg at the helm for the fifth straight season. Poldberg has led the Naturals to the playoffs in each of his four seasons and was named an All-Star in 2010 and 2011. Poldberg’s staff will include 2011 All-Star pitching coach Larry Carter, who enters his 15th season in the Royals organization and 11th at the Double-A level, and 2010-11 Texas League All-Star Terry Bradshaw, who will tutor the hitters at Double-A for the third consecutive year. Masa Koyanagi and George Timke will work as the trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.

Vance Wilson will jump a level and serve as the manager of the Class-A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2012 after leading the Kane County Cougars to the playoffs last season in his debut season as a skipper. Steve Luebber will remain as the pitching coach while former big league outfielder Damon Hollins will be the hitting coach. Trainer James Stone and strength and conditioning coach Adam Vish round out Wilson’s staff.

The Royals will begin their second season with the Kane County (Ill.) Cougars as the club’s Midwest League (A) affiliate. Kane County will be managed by Brian Buchanan, who skippered Idaho Falls in 2010 and 2011. Jim Browerreturns as the Cougars pitching coach. Julio Bruno, the hitting coach for Surprise in 2011, will serve in that same capacity on Buchanan’s staff. Mark Keiser and David Kathmann will serve as the trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.

Omar Ramirez, who was the hitting coach for Idaho Falls in 2011, will be on the bench as the manager of the Chukars in 2012. Jerry Nyman will serve as the Chukars pitching coach for the second straight campaign. Justin Gemoll will tutor the hitters at Idaho Falls after filling the same role in 2011 at Wilmington (A-Advanced). Nathan Dine joins the Royals organization as the strength and conditioning coach. The Chukars trainer has yet to be announced.

Tommy Shields joins the Kansas City system as the manager with Burlington (R) in the Appalachian League. Shields spent the last seven seasons as the Atlanta Braves minor league infield coordinator. Carlos Martinez will be the pitching coach after working in the same position for Surprise in 2011. Jon Williams will work with the hitters. Trainer Adrian Ramon and strength and conditioning coach Richard White both join the Royals organization and round out Shields’ staff. Ramon comes to the Royals from Florida Gulf Coast University.

The Royals rookie league squad in Surprise, Ariz., will be managed by Darryl Kennedy for the third straight season. Kennedy’s staff will include Mark Davis, who returns as a pitching coach for Surprise after a season as the minor league pitching coordinator; pitching coach/rehab coach Carlos Reyes, who joined the Royals in 2008; hitting coaches Andre David and Nelson Liriano; coach and former Royals postseason hero Willie Aikens; trainer Saburo Hagihara; and strength and conditioning coach Luis Perez, who also serves the club as the Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator.

Victor Baez will work his fifth year as the Dominican Academy field coordinator. Under the direction of manager Jose Mejia, the remainder of the staff includes Rafael Roque (pitching); Abraham Nunez (hitting); Ramon Martinez(infield); Onil Joseph (outfield); Sergio de Luna (coach); Martin Berroa (trainer); Raymundo Sido (trainer); and Jose Rosario (strength and conditioning coach).


Coordinators and Roving positions:

Tony Tijerina enters his sixth year with KC and his second as minor league field coordinator.

Bill Fischer, a former Major League Pitching Coach with the Reds, Red Sox and Rays, will work his 65th year in professional baseball in 2012 as Senior Pitching Advisor. Fischer, who re-joined the organization in 2007, also worked with the club from 1975-1978 and in 1984.

2012 will be Jack Maloof’s fifth season with the Royals as a special assistant to player development and minor league hitting coordinator.

Rusty Kuntz, after serving in 2008-2009 and for the final four months of 2010 on the Royals Major League staff as first base coach, will work his second season as special assistant to general manager/player development.

Rick Knapp, who served as the Major League pitching coach of the Detroit Tigers the last three seasons, joins the Royals as the minor league pitching coordinator.

Glenn Hubbard, a 10-year Major League veteran and a coach for the Atlanta Braves for 21 seasons, returns for his second year as the club’s infield coordinator.

John Wathan returns for his 40th season in baseball, his 36th with the Royals, as a special assistant to player development/scouting.

Chris DeLucia will serve his third season as the minor league medical coordinator in 2012.

Sean McQueeney joins the Royals organization as minor league rehab coordinator and physical therapist. He was most recently with the Seattle Mariners organization.

Tony Medina is the Latin America medical coordinator after working the last eight years as a trainer at various levels.

Garrett Sherrill returns to the Royals after two seasons with the San Francisco Giants and will serve as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, taking over for Ryan Stoneberg who was promoted to the Major League position.

Luis Perez, as mentioned above, will serve as the Latin America strength and conditioning coordinator in addition to working for Surprise.

Nick Leto and Will Simon return as the manager of Arizona operations and minor league equipment manager, respectively.

Alvin Cuevas returns for his fifth season as manager of Dominican operations.

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Storm Chasers Release 2012 Schedule

Storm Chasers Release 2012 Schedule
Opening Night at Werner Park set for 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, April 5


Photo By Erika Lynn

OMAHA, Neb. — The defending Pacific Coast League Champion Omaha Storm Chasers have officially set their complete 2012 baseball schedule, the club announced Thursday.

Werner Park, entering its second season as the home of Triple-A baseball in Omaha, will host 72 Storm Chasers games between Thursday, April 5 and Sunday, August 26, plus up to five September playoff games if necessary. Full-season, half-season, 20-game and 7-game Holiday packages are currently available to the general public online at www.omahastormchasers.com, by visiting the Werner Park ticket office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or by calling(402) 738-5100.

The season will kick off with a special Championship Weekend celebration against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Beginning on Thursday, April 5 at 7:05 p.m., the Chasers will celebrate Opening Night, two consecutive nights of fireworks, a ring ceremony, a banner raising and a weekend of giveaways.

Albuquerque will be back in town to celebrate America’s Independence, as the Isotopes return from Saturday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 3, with fireworks on July 2 plus the highly-anticipated 20-plus minute fireworks extravaganza wrapping up the homestand on July 3.

Round Rock, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and 2011 playoff opponent, will visit Werner Park twice in the opening two months of the season. They will visit from Monday, April 9 through Thursday, April 12 and again Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10. The division rival Iowa Cubs will be in town from Tuesday, May 29 through Friday, June 1 and Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15.

If Omaha is able to chase down its second-straight division title, the Storm Chasers would host Games 1 and 2 of the American Conference Championship Series September 5-6 and Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series September 14-16.

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Royals Fall League Farm Report

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 6thKelvin 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.

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Royals Re-sign Seven Players To Minor League Contracts For 2012

Royals Re-sign Seven Players To Minor League Contracts For 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO (October 27, 2010) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has re-signed seven players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Dobies, 28, was signed by the Royals on July 22, 2011 from the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League. Dobies was 1-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Northwest Arkansas (AA).

24-year-old left-handed pitcher Edgar Osuna spent the entire 2011 campaign with Northwest Arkansas, posting a 6-4 record and 7.89 ERA in 14 games, including 11 starts, missing over two months with a shoulder injury. The native of Mazatlan, Mexico, was the Royals’ Rule 5 selection in 2009.

Right-handed pitcher Mario Santiago, 26, split 2011 between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha (AAA), combining for an 8-4 record with a 3.70 ERA in 35 games (11 starts). Santiago is currently pitching for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, where he has a 2.70 ERA in two starts.

Catcher Cody Clark, 30, played in 51 regular season games for the Pacific Coast League champion Omaha Storm Chasers, batting .233 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI.

28-year-old infielder Irving Falu hit .301 with 10 doubles, nine triples, two home runs, 47 RBI, 50 runs and 21 stolen bases in 111 games for Omaha in 2011. The versatile switch hitter played second, third, short and right field for the Storm Chasers.

Infielder John Whittleman, 24, was acquired by the Royals from the Texas Rangers on March 25, 2011 for a player to be named or cash. The right-handed hitter batted .234 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI for Wilmington (Class A Advanced) in 2011, ranking tied for third in the Carolina League in homers and seventh in RBI.

26-year-old outfielder Paulo Orlando spent time at both Omaha and Northwest Arkansas this season, combining to hit .268 with 15 doubles, 12 triples, five home runs, 51 RBI and 54 runs scored. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2008 in for Horacio Ramirez.

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World Series In St. Louis: What You Need To Know

I-70 Baseball received a press release from the club today with notes about all the upcoming games in St. Louis as well as some notes on the franchise history in the fall classic.

Some highlights from the release:

  • First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will be in attendance for Game One as a part of MLB’s participation in the Welcome Back Veterans and Joining Forces
  • A Pre-Game Rally will be held in Ballpark Village from 3:00 – 5:45 p.m before each game
  • Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. for Game One only and open at 5:00 p.m. for all other games
  • Cardinal pitchers who were on the mound for the final out of the last four World Championships will throw out the first pitch before game one (Bob Gibson – 1964 and 1967, Bruce Sutter – 1982, Adam Wainwright – 2006)
  • The Roberto Clemente Award,recognizing a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions, including sportsmanship and community involvement, on and off the field; will be presented before the start of Game Two.
  • American Idol Scotty McCreery and country music star Trace Adkins will perform the National Anthem before games one and two, respectively
  • Should games six or seven be needed, Mike Matheny and Jack Clark will be posing with the World Championship trophies from 1982 and 2006 and taking pictures with fans
  • The team store will be expanding the hours of operation to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the post-season and is will offer exclusive Rally Squirrel merchandise as well as National League Champion merchandise.
  • The Cardinals are playing in their 18th World Series
  • Surprisingly, the Cardinals have a losing record (52-53) in World Series games including a 27-25 record at home

To read the entire release, including Busch Stadium Policies, Franchise Facts, and much more, download the official PDF by clicking here.

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Five Naturals Rank Among Circuit’s Top Prospects

Five Naturals rank among circuit’s top prospects
Odorizzi, Myers, Perez, Dwyer, Herrera all tabbed for list

SPRINGDALE, AR – While not quite as dominating as the 2010 Naturals, the 2011 Naturals still claimed five spots among Baseball America’s Top 20 Texas League prospects for the season. Only the league champion San Antonio Missions had as many players named to the list. The rankings were released Thursday.

For the Naturals, right-hander Jake Odorizzi (No. 5) was the highest rated player for Northwest Arkansas, while outfielder Wil Myers (No. 13), left-hander Chris Dwyer (No. 15), right-hander Kelvin Herrera (No. 16), and catcher Salvador Perez (No. 17) also made the list.

Unsurprisingly, outfielder Mike Trout (Arkansas Travelers), one of the top prospects across baseball who was voted as Texas League Player of the Year, topped the list. Former Diamond Hogs third baseman Zack Cox (Springfield Cardinals) was ranked 14th.

Odorizzi, who had a stellar first half of the season leading to his promotion to Double-A, was also named last week as the seventh-best prospect in the Carolina League. Two of the other four players – Myers and Dwyer – saw injuries (Myers) and early season struggles (Dwyer) affect their seasons, but both players turned in solid play down the stretch and made great contributions to the Naturals’ fourth-consecutive second-half division championship run.

Perez’ bat turned from solid to white-hot in July, and never cooled off even after a promotion to the big leagues in August that followed just a two-week stint with Triple-A Omaha. Herrera’s whirlwind season began in Advanced Class-A Wilmington, took him through the Texas League, including (along with Myers) an appearance in the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game, to Triple-A Omaha and then onward to Kansas City, where he made two late season appearances out of the Royals’ bullpen.

Last season the Naturals also had five of their players make the Texas League post-season Top 20 list. Four of those five players – Mike Moustakas (No. 1), Eric Hosmer (No. 2), Aaron Crow (No. 6), and Louis Coleman (No. 16) spent all or a significant portion of the 2011 season in Kansas City.

Baseball America’s League Top 20 lists are generated from consultations with scouts and league managers. To qualify for consideration, a player must have spent at least one-third of the season in a league. Position players must have one plate appearance for every league game. Pitchers must pitch one-third of an inning for every league game, and relievers have to have made at least 20 appearances in full-season leagues.

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. You can purchase tickets and group outings with the Naturals by calling (479) 927-4900.

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Royals Treatment: Royals Take On Texas

The excellent website, Royals Treatment, provides I-70 Baseball with series previews this season for the Kansas City Royals games. Kansas City travels to Texas to take on the defending American League Champion Texas Rangers in The Ballpark In Arlington.

The Melk-man delivered again with a clutch game-tying & go-ahead RBI single off astound Indians closer Chris Perez on Thursday night inching the Royals that much closer to the division lead. They now travel deep into Texas for a series with the reigning AL Champion Rangers! :

Fri. Apr. 22. 7:05 pm CT – Jeff Francis (0-1, 3.00) v. Derek Holland (2-1, 3.66)

Sat. Apr. 23. 7:05 pm CT – Kyle Davies (1-1, 7.20) v. Alexi Ogando (2-0, 2.33)

Sun. Apr. 24. 2:05 pm CTBruce Chen (3-0, 2.42) v. C.J. Wilson (2-0, 3.08)

This series features a pair of tremendous left-handed pitching duels, sandwiched around a date with an elite rookie Rangers flamethrower in Ogando. The ball flies out of The Ballpark at Arlington so regardless of who’s on the mound, plentiful amounts of runs should still be put on the board.

You can read the remainder of the series preview by clicking here.

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