The Caribbean Series ended on Tuesday, wrapping up most of the Royals involvement in offseason leagues (catcher Kevin David, a 19th round pick in 2010 is playing for Melbourne in the Australian Baseball League Championship Series that starts on Friday). With spring training coming up, players are gearing up for a trip to Surprise and getting in work with the rest of their team.
Some of those players are going to be looking to build on their offseason performances and move up the ladder.
Wil Myers rebounded from his first season of Double A ball with 31 hits in 86 at bats in the Arizona Fall League. Over the 23 games, he produced a 1.167 OPS, walked more than he struck out and added 14 extra base hits. He shook off a lot of questions about the knee injury (and infection) that slowed him at Northwest Arkansas and the 21-year-old got his first invite to big league camp. Brian Poldberg told Paul Nielsen of NWAOnline.com that he thinks Myers will get a chance at Triple A.
Mario Lisson could be headed to Omaha as well. The 27-year-old third baseman hit .293/.372/.527 for the Naturals, then kept hitting in the Venezuelan League, hitting 11 homers in 50 games with an OPS of .877.
Anthony Seratelli can play multiple positions (he’s one of those “played everywhere but catcher and pitcher kinda guys) and was an organizational All-Star in the Royals system according to MILB.com. After a solid year in Northwest Arkansas, Seratelli had an even better time in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .317/.426/.429. When he’s not playing all over the field, he also produces a weekly video as a hobby. He also received the Royals Willie Wilson Award last month as baserunner of the year.
On the mound, Kelvin Herrera, who went from A ball to the majors last year, continued the momentum, throwing 17.1 innings, striking out 15 and walking just one while compiling a 0.51 ERA. He has a strong chance to break camp in the Royals bullpen.
Francisely Bueno had a 1.90 ERA in 42.2 innings, which was good enough to get him an invite to big league camp. He’ll be 31 years old in March, so he’s hoping to get a shot as bullpen depth after a strong showing in the Dominican League.
It’s worth noting that in 48.2 innings, Manauris Baez had a 1.66 ERA, but he also walked 25 batters during Dominican League play. When the Royals signed him, they converted him from an everyday player to a pitcher, so at 25 years old now, he’s working his way up the ranks. He’s pitched as high as Triple A and may start there or see time there again this year.
Everett Teaford, who’ll compete for a spot on the Royals pitching staff this spring, had a 29 to 3 strikeout to walk ratio in the Dominican League in 23 innings. He’s also one of the better Royals players to follow on Twitter at @teaparty61.
Most of these players will serve the purpose of minor league depth and will need a few things to break their way to get into the big leagues, but some, like Teaford and Herrera, certainly didn’t hurt their odds of starting the year in Kansas City. Myers was one of the better players in Arizona during Fall League play, which is a great sign for the organization.