With the minor league decision circus behind us, we have KC Royals winter league updates, a look at how affiliates are spreading holiday cheer, and more.
Probably on the tail end of his prospect stage, but still hopeful he will blossom into a major league hitter, Kelvin Gutierrez is having a nice winter for the Gigantes del Ciabo club. Hunter Dozier may be moving back to third base for now, but the KC Royals still believe Gutierrez could be the everyday starter at the position in the future.
In 11 games in the Dominican League, Gutierrez is slashing .314/.429/.486 with one home run, eight RBIs, and an eye-pleasing seven walks in 35 at-bats. While he has yet to turn heads in the majors, he may get another opportunity or two for the team, especially with performances like this.
KC Royals executive adds another role
Rene Francisco has been with the Royals organization since 2005 and for the last six years has served as an Assistant General Manager in charge of Major League and International Operations. He will now act as a special advisor for the Gigantes del Ciabo (link loads in Spanish, use browser option to translate if necessary) during their current season.
This will allow him to keep an eye on Gutierrez and Seuly Matias plus make connections that could benefit the Royals down the road. He previously worked with this Dominican team as a manager, winning the title in ’14-’15 and was its general manager back in ’18-’19.
Minor league teams, major league accomplishments
The Omaha Storm Chasers have done many good things for the community throughout the year, and the Christmas season is no different. They helped their local Ronald McDonald House by collecting pop can tabs and delivered enough to help the charity pay their electric bills. Kudos!
Naturals have a game of the decade
Milb.com recently listed their top-10 minor league games of the decade and our friends, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, came in with a contest at No. 3. Participating in this particular game were too old friends, Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera.
On July 19, 2011, Smith drew the start and cruised along retiring the first 15 batters. He then walked a couple but was helped by the bullpen which induced a triple play. Herrera closed out the game after a couple of strikeouts, resulting in a combined no-hitter. What a great game to see those two rare accomplishments at the same time!
The River Bandits act fast
The Quad Cities organization quickly adapted after being offered an affiliate connection to Kansas City and you can already order apparel from them with the alternate colors of blue and gold to match the KC Royals’ primary colors. The River Bandits logo was awesomely unique and well done, but adding a Kansas City flavor to it makes it even more attractive to Royals fans.
We hope each one of you has a fantastic holiday season and look forward to many great stories from the prospect and affiliate angles in 2021!