An Overview of the Royals’ Minor League Signings

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Photo courtesy of Minda Haas

You’re likely aware of all, or at least almost all, of the major league deals given to free agents by the Royals this offseason. You know about Kendrys Morales, Alex Rios, and Edinson Volquez. You know about Kris Medlen, Luke Hochevar, and Jason Frasor. You might even know about Yohan Pino.

But the Royals also signed many other players this winter, though some of those names may be less familiar. There are older veterans hoping for a comeback. There are young guys who couldn’t prove themselves in another organization. There are also international free agents who no one really knows about.

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In total, the team signed 27 players to minor league deals, and 7 of those players received an invitation to big league Spring Training. Below you will see those players’ names, along with their ages, positions, potentially relevant statistics (including independent league numbers, when applicable), and any other tidbit of information that I felt like typing.

You won’t need to remember the vast majority of these names, but what good is Spring Training if not to provide a time when we can learn all sorts of useless information? The non-roster invitees are italicized. Their names, that is. I’m not sure how one would go about italicizing an actual human person.

Pitchers

Franklin Morales – 29 – LHP – 423.2 IP, 94 ERA+, 7.3 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 (MLB). His .624 OPS allowed to left-handed batters could give him a leg up in the competition for the final bullpen spot.

Joe Blanton – 34 – RHP – 1567.1 IP, 92 ERA+, 6.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 (MLB). Hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013, and has been prone to the homer in his career.

Ryan Madson – 34 – RHP – 630 IP, 122 ERA+, 7.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 (MLB). Hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since 2011, but reports suggest his changeup is back to pre-injury form.

Joe Paterson – 28 – LHP – 40.1 IP, 6.25 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 (MLB). This lefty could work his way onto the 25-man thanks to his sinker/slider combo against southpaws.

Derek Gordon – 23 – RHP – 26.1 IP, 6.49 ERA, 12 K, 23 BB (Ind). He’s Alex Gordon‘s brother.

Benino Pruneda – 26 – RHP – 303.1 IP, 4.06 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 4.8 BB/9 (Minors). Former Brave who is short and used to touch the mid-90s with his fastball.

Roman Colon – 35 – RHP – 187.1 IP, 85 ERA+, 5.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 (MLB). Last appeared in the bigs as a Royal, when he allowed 12 hits and 6 runs in 8 innings.

Cristian Castillo – 20 – LHP – I couldn’t find any stats, as he appears to be an international signing out of Mexico.

Dany Geraldo – 19 – RHP – Signed out of the Dominican Republic.

Juan Flores – 20 – RHP – Also signed out of the Dominican Republic.

Aroni Nina – 24 – RHP – 292 IP, 4.59 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 5/1 BB/9 (Minors). Has spent the last 7 years in the Royals’ organization, and has a fastball that touches 97 MPH.

Noel Arguelles – 25 – LHP – 419.2 IP, 5.68 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 5.4 BB/9 (Minors). You know the story.

Catchers

Anderson De La Rosa – 30 – C – 2152 PA, .233/.277/.339 (Minors). Has caught 37% of would-be base stealers in his career.

J.C. Boscan – 35 – C – 5013 PA, .222/.306/.303 (Minors). He’s gotten a few cups of coffee in the majors, but it seems like he’s here to work well with the younger guys.

Infielders

Ryan Roberts – 34 – IF – 1692 PA, .243/.320/.388 (MLB). Can handle multiple positions on the diamond, and holds a .772 OPS against left-handed pitching.

Brian Bocock – 29 – IF – 3091 PA, .232/.301/.315 (Minors). Got a little run with San Francisco a few years ago, but spent 2014 in Omaha in a utility role.

Dusty Coleman – 27 – SS – 2846 PA, .236/.314/.392 (Minors). Gets rave reviews for his makeup, and hit 14 dingers for Oakland’s Double-A affiliate last year.

Alex Liddi – 26 – 3B – 188 PA, .208/.266/.370 (MLB). 128 home runs in 9 minor league seasons, and was a member of 4 different organizations in the last 2 years.

Angel Franco – 24 – 2B – 2434 PA, .266/.328/.349 (Minors). Member of the Royals’ farm for his whole career, he had a .759 OPS in 2013 before struggling mightily in Northwest Arkansas in 2014.

Balbino Fuenmayor – 25 – IF – 2825 PA, .269/.314/.432 (Minors). Hit 23 home runs in a Canadian independent league last season, and has a terrific name.

Gabriel Noriega – 24 – IF – 2885 PA, .257/.298/.329 (Minors). Was a top 100 prospect before the 2010 season, according to Baseball Prospectus.

Ismaldo Rodriguez – 16 – SS – Signed out of the Dominican Republic. And yes, he is 16 years old.

Outfielders

Mike Bianucci – 28 – OF – 2839 PA, .267/.325/.491 (Minors). Big-time power; hit 22 home runs in 86 games last year, 10 of which came in the Mexican League.

Jose Martinez – 26 – OF – 3136 PA, .284/.342/.386 (Minors). Had an .819 OPS for Atlanta’s High-A affiliate last season, including 21 extra-base hits in 66 games.

Brandon Jacobs – 24 – OF – 2196 PA, .254/.329/.432 (Minors). Was a top 50 prospect while in the Red Sox organization before 2012, and hit 31 dingers in the last 2 years.

Andres Martin – 18 – OF – Signed out of Mexico.

Mitch Maier – 32 – OF/P/Coach – 2 IP, 0.00 ERA (MLB). He’s just the best.

Next: Royals and FSKC Announce TV Schedule

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