Three Royals players were rewarded with their outstanding winter seasons with awards from their respective leagues. Most notable of the honorees is starting catcher, Salvador Perez. He was named the Venezuelan League Rookie of the Year after his outstanding performance this winter. In 32 games for Tiburones de la Guaira he hit .371 and drove in 39 runs. He also belted eight home runs and collected 10 doubles to go along with 23 runs scored.
The other award winners were Juan Gutierrez and Christian Colon. Colon was named Puerto Rican League Rookie of the Year after his solid campaign for Leones del Caracas. He tallied 46 hits, which included eight doubles and one triple and one home run. He also stole 13 bases and scored 26 runs while driving in 11. Gutierrez was named the Venezuelan League Reliever of the Year after his outstanding winter performance for Leones del Caracas. He saved 15 games and only blew one opportunity and had a very dominating winter season. He allowed a .163 opponents batting average and struck out 25 batters in 25 innings of work.
One player who I’m excited to see more of is Guillermo Moscoso. The 29 year old righty was invited to the Major League side of camp for this season and has had some success in the past at the Major League Level. He finished his winter season for Leones del Caracas in the Venezualan Winter League with a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings to go along with 18 strike outs and 2 wins. I do believe we will be seeing some of Moscoso some point at Kauffman Stadium this year, whether that’s in a long relief role or as a spot starter.
More notable names out of the Royals organization include the likes of Miguel Tejada, Alcides Escobar, and Endy Chavez. All three of them wrapped up their winter leagues with solid performances. Escobar had the best season out of the three players I just mentioned, as he hit .349 with two home runs and 16 runs batted in. In 26 games he also scored 24 runs and stole four bases.
The two new additions to the organization, Chavez and Tejada, played in their respective winter leagues and put up some promising numbers as they head into spring and challenge for a roster spot. Tejada showed some pop and hit four homers and nine doubles and collected 19 RBI. Chavez was a little more light hitting, but still managed five extra base hits and 14 runs scored.
After reviewing stats of all the players playing this winter, I was thoroughly impressed with Royals prospect Rey Navarro. In the Puerto Rican Winter League he hit .333 in 114 at bats, and also knocked in 18 runs. In 27 games he recorded 38 hits and scored 17 runs. He’s not on the 40 man roster, but he was promoted to Omaha last year. It’s likely he will stay there this year, but at 23 years old he still could be a promising infielder to watch out for in the future.
Players playing in these leagues can really showcase their talents to potential teams who are looking to add some depth to their rosters going into spring training. Miguel Tejada and Endy Chavez are perfect examples as Dayton Moore was recommended to sign these two after their promising winter seasons. A full length article about what Moore had to say about these signings can be found here.