The long grinds of their minor league seasons are almost over for prime KC Royals pitching prospects Anthony Veneziano and Chandler Champlain. But Friday night, neither young hurler looked any worse for the wear. Chandler Champlain and Anthony Veneziano, ranked 11th and 16th, respectively, among MLB Pipeline's Top 30 Kansas City prospects, were both superb.
Champlain made his last Double-A start of the campaign for Northwest Arkansas (the Naturals' season ends Sunday) and earned the win in his club's 2-1 triumph over Arkansas. He struck out six and gave up only two hits in 6.1 innings.
The victory evened Champlain's Double-A record at 5-5; combined with his 6-3, 2.74 ERA performance at High-A Quad Cities to begin the season, he'll finish the year 11-8, 3.33 ... unless, of course, the organization bumps him to Triple-A Omaha to squeeze in a start there before the Storm Chasers wind up the season next weekend.
Together with Royal prospects T.J. Sikkema and Beck Way, Champlain came to the Royals in last season's trade deadline deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Yankees.
And speaking of Omaha, Veneziano also pitched well Friday. The Chasers' lefthander kept Omaha in its game with Indianapolis, surrendering just a run in six innings, but Dylan Coleman, still splitting his season between Kansas City and Triple-A, gave up a two-run homer in the ninth. The Storm Chasers lost 3-1.
Because eight games remain on Omaha's schedule, and barring a late season call-up to the majors, Veneziano should get one more start. He's now 5-4 with a 4.22 ERA at Omaha after beginning the campaign with a 5-1, 2.13 record at Northwest Arkansas.
KC Royals captain Salvador Perez has been nominated for a prestigious award
Salvador Perez, named Kansas City captain before the season began, has won his share of major awards during a 12-season big league career. Included in his collection are five Gold Gloves and a team record four Silver Sluggers; he was also named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series and to the All-MLB Team twice, and won the 2021 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. And he's an eight-time American League All-Star.
Now, he's up for one of the most coveted awards in the game. Major League Baseball recently announced he's one of 30 nominees for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, given after each season to the major leaguer ",,,who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
Each big league team nominates one of its players for the award. Perez, honored in an on-field ceremony before Friday night's game against Houston (Friday was Robert Clemente Day throughout major league baseball), was also nominated in 2021 but didn't win.