Mark Peterson, Mark Threlkeld and Bubba Starling on the field in Surprise during spring training. Photo: Michelle Meade

Kansas City Royals Set Organization Rosters


On Friday, the Royals made the last decision of spring training, choosing George Kottaras as Salvador Perez‘s backup. After a busy offseason of pitching acquisitions, the Royals have set their opening day roster and settled all of the battles.

Along with that, they’ve set preliminary rosters for their four full-season affiliates.

Pitchers Infielders POS Outfielders POS
RHP James Shields Eric Hosmer 1B Alex Gordon LF
RHP Ervin Santana Chris Getz 2B Lorenzo Cain CF
RHP Jeremy Guthrie Alcides Escobar SS Jeff Francoeur RF
RHP Wade Davis Mike Moustakas 3B Jarrod Dyson CF
RHP Luis Mendoza Elliot Johnson UT
RHP J.C. Gutierrez Miguel Tejada UT Catchers
LHP Bruce Chen Billy Butler DH Salvador Perez
RHP Luke Hochevar George Kottaras
RHP Aaron Crow
LHP Tim Collins
RHP Kelvin Herrera
RHP Greg Holland

This isn’t my ideal roster. Swap out Irving Falu for Miguel Tejada, Donnie Joseph or Louis Coleman for J.C. Gutierrez and Johnny Giavotella at second over Chris Getz* and given the players that were available for selection, that would work better in my mind.

*Of course Getz won the job. My approach is, as I’ve always stated, to go for the upside of Giavotella over the safe choice of Getz. Getz celebrated winning the job by going 6-for-6 in a spring training game, akin to spiking the ball and doing the worm in the endzone after a touchdown. So he showed me. 

 Omaha Storm Chasers – Triple A

Donnie Joseph should see action in 2013. (Photo: Minda Haas)

Pitchers Infielders POS Outfielders POS
RHP Michael Mariot Anthony Seratelli UT Paulo Orlando LF
RHP Nate Adcock Johnny Giavotella 2B David Lough CF
LHP Will Smith Christian Colon SS Willy Taveras CF
LHP Everett Teaford Xavier Nady 1B Luis Durango LF
LHP Donnie Joseph Chad Tracy 1B
LHP Ryan Verdugo Brandon Wood 3B Catchers
LHP Chris Dwyer Irving Falu UT Max Ramirez
LHP Justin Marks Adam Moore
RHP Louis Coleman Brett Hayes
LHP Buddy Baumann
RHP Anthony Ortega
RHP Brian Sanches
RHP Blaine Boyer
LHP Atahualpa Severino
LHP Francisley Bueno

That’s a lot of left-handed pitching. There’s plenty of depth here in case the Royals suffer a rash of injuries. Smith would be the first starter up if necessary, and Coleman, Joseph and Bueno could be easy callups if J.C. Gutierrez falter

 Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Double A 

July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; World pitcher Yordano Ventura throws a pitch during the first inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers Infielders POS Outfielders POS
RHP Yordano Ventura Rey Navarro 2B Brett Eibner CF
RHP Jason Adam Orlando Calixte SS Brian Fletcher LF
LHP Noel Arguelles Whit Merrifield 2B Yem Prades CF
RHP Yeliar Castro Alex McClure SS Roman Hernandez LF
RHP Sam Runion Matt Fields 1B
LHP Jon Keck Angel Franco 2B Catchers
RHP J.C. Sulbaran Manuel Pina
RHP Edwin Carl Juan Graterol
RHP Andy Ferguson Mitch Canham
RHP Santiago Garrido
RHP Brooks Pounders
RHP Matt Ridings
RHP Nick Rogers
RHP Cole White

Some of the speculation didn’t pan out for the Naturals. What could have been a dynamite rotation of John Lamb, Yordano Ventura, Jason Adam and Kyle Zimmer will instead be Ventura, Adam and others. Lamb will continue to get comfortable after Tommy John surgery recovery and Zimmer, while on a fast track, isn’t being pushed too far too fast yet. I’m interested to see if Brett Eibner (34% strikeout rate last year) can make enough contact to take advantage of a much better hitting environment.

Orlando Calixte is also intruiging.

Wilmington Blue Rocks – High A

Cheslor Cuthbert

Cheslor Cuthbert via Jen Nevius

Pitchers Infielders POS Outfielders POS
RHP Kyle Zimmer Cheslor Cuthbert 3B Lane Adams RF
LHP John Lamb Murray Watts 1B Geulin Beltre OF
LHP Sam Selman Justin Trapp 2B Jorge Bonifacio RF
RHP Kyle Smith Daniel Mateo 1B Tim Ferguson CF
RHP Aaron Brooks Jack Lopez SS Chris Elder OF
LHP Antonio Cruz Kenny Diekroeger 2B
RHP Robinson Yambati Catchers
RHP Angel Baez Parker Morin
RHP Malcom Culver Kenny Swab
RHP Cody Fassold
RHP Kellen Moen
RHP Spencer Patton
RHP Andrew Triggs

There’s the good stuff. Zimmer and Lamb are the big names in the rotation, but Selman was great last year and skips Low A. Kyle Smith should be a very good High A #4 starter. Wilmington has interesting position players as well with Bonifacio and Cuthbert being the big names but Lopez was a big bonus draft signing, Mateo has had some success, and Watts has been a power/on base combo.

Lexington Legends – Low A

Pitchers Infielders POS Outfielders POS
RHP Miguel Almonte Adalberto Mondesi SS Bubba Starling CF
RHP Bryan Brickhouse Humberto Arteaga SS Fred Ford RF
RHP Christian Binford Michael Antonio 3B Ethan Chapman CF
LHP Scott Alexander Mark Threlkeld 1B Terrance Gore LF
RHP Cory Hall Nicholas Cuckovich 3B
RHP Daniel Hernandez Adrian Morales 3B
RHP Alec Mills Yowill Espinal 3B Catchers
RHP Aroni Nina Cameron Gallagher
RHP Mark Peterson Alexander Marquez
LHP Colin Rodgers Jin-Ho Shin
LHP Daniel Stumpf
LHP Clayton Schulz
RHP Ali Williams

The Royals newest affiliate gets the privilege of seeing three of their top ten prospects in Starling, Almonte and Mondesi. The outfield in particular is full of names. Ford had the second most homers in Burlington last year, Chapman has promise, and Gore is the fastest guy in the organization. Arteaga is no slouch either and Gallagher is their top catching prospect. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus dubbed Lexington as his “must-see” affiliate in the Royals organization and pegged Almonte and Mondesi as breakout candidates.

The rosters were originally listed on milb.com’s official page for each affiliate. In entering them into tables, I’ve taken the occasion to reorder them from how they’re listed on each individual team page in some cases to place the more interesting players higher in the order. There was no rhyme or reason to it, other than I wanted Zimmer, Adam, etc listed towards the top. 

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