Kansas City Royals minor leaguer Luis Mendoza has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year for the 2011 season. The award is based on voting by the league’s field managers and media members. This is the third honor in as many days for Mendoza, who was selected to the 12-member All-PCL Team on Monday and named Omaha Pitcher of the Year by the Royals organization yesterday.
Mendoza, 27, has dominated Pacific Coast League hitters all season, posting an 11-5 record with a league-leading 2.15 ERA in 32 games (17 starts). The right-hander originally recorded his second career no-hitter on July 18 at Memphis, before a reviewed ruling overturned a ninth-inning error to a double.
The native of Mexico originally signed with the Boston Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent on June 12, 2000. He made 32 appearances (14 starts) with the Texas Rangers from 2007 to 2009 and pitched in four games for Kansas City in 2010 after being acquired from Texas on April 2 that season.
Mendoza is the first Omaha pitcher to earn PCL Pitcher of the Year honors since the award’s inception in 2001. He is the third pitcher in the club’s history to win his league’s top pitching award, joining Mark Littell (1973) and Mark Huismann (1985) from the American Association.
The Royals announced today that the club has traded catcher Matt Treanor to the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations. With the trade, the Royals 40-man roster stands at 39 players.
Treanor, 35, has missed the last 29 games after suffering a concussion on July 30 in Cleveland. He has played seven games in a rehab assignment for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, batting .263 with five RBI. Acquired by the Royals from the Rangers on March 28, 2011, the catcher hit .226 with six doubles, three home runs, 21 RBI and 24 runs scored in 65 games for Kansas City.
The Arizona Fall League and the Kansas City Royals announced today seven players from the Royals organization who will compete for the Surprise Saguaros in the 2011 Arizona Fall League. The Royals prospects are right-handed pitchers Nate Adcock, Jeremy Jeffress and Bryan Paukovits, left-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty, first baseman Clint Robinson, shortstop Christian Colon and outfielder Wil Myers.
2011 marks the 20th season of the Arizona Fall League, created by Major League Baseball in 1992 to serve as an off-season league for top prospects. The season will begin on Tuesday, October 4.
The Royals return to Kauffman Stadium for a quick three-game weekend homestand against the Cleveland Indians, September 2-4. The series is packed with fan favorites such as Buck Night, Fireworks Friday and a Family FunDay Sunday.
In addition, fans can collect a Joakim Soria bobblehead and celebrate Hispanic Heritage with the annual Viva Los Royals celebration on Saturday.
Friday, September 2 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 7:10 p.m.
· Buck Night – Hot dogs, small Pepsi products and peanuts are just $1 each all night long. www.royals.com/fanvalue.
· Hy-Vee/Pepsi Fireworks Fridays – A spectacular fireworks show after every Friday home game.
· Bases Loaded 4-Pack for $80 – Get four Hy-Vee Infield tickets and $10 in loaded value per ticket. www.royals.com/basesloaded.
Saturday, September 3 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 6:10 p.m.
Viva Los Royals presented by Sprint – The annual pregame party celebrating Hispanic Heritage begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Outfield Experience. Fans can enjoy live music on the Outfield Experience stage by MRM and Kallejeros De La Cumbia. New for 2011, the Royals also host the Salsa Showdown inside Gate E from 4:30-6 p.m. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite salsa from participating Mexican restaurants including El Pueblito, El Patron, Jose Pepper’s, Pardo’s and Teocali. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.royals.com/viva. To reserve a group of 20 or more tickets, call (816) 504-4166.
· Joakim Soria Bobblehead – In conjunction with the Viva Los Royals celebration, the first 20,000 fans receive an exclusive bobblehead of Royals pitcher Joakim Soria presented by Mission Foods.
· 610 Saturday – Enjoy great activities, including a caricature artist, prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. For details, visit www.royals.com/610saturdays.
Sunday, September 4 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 1:10 p.m.
· Family FunDay Sunday – The September 4 festivities feature face painters, a balloon artist, live family-friendly entertainment from Rockin’ Rob and an appearance from SpongeBob SquarePants. Fans can also enjoy the All-Day Play Pass for unlimited activities in the Outfield Experience for just $10. www.royals.com/sunday.
· Autograph Afternoon – Meet your favorite former Royals during Autograph Afternoon. The one-hour autograph session, featuring Dennis Leonard, John Mayberry and John Wathan, will take place at Gate A near the Royals Hall of Fame from noon to 1 p.m. Alumni appearances subject to change.
· Fun Run presented by Sprint – All fans can run the bases after the game (conditions permitting).
· Bases Loaded 4-Pack for $60 – Get four Hy-Vee Infield tickets and $10 in loaded value per ticket. www.royals.com/basesloaded.
Fans may purchase tickets online at royals.com, by calling 1-800-6ROYALS, at area Hy-Vee stores or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office.
The Royals have named their Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their respective affiliates. The Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be named this Friday, September 2.
A majority of the players are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, September 16, where they will take part in an autograph session at Gate A from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., as well as be honored in an on-field presentation prior to the Royals game against the White Sox.
Right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza has been named the Omaha Pitcher of the Year. The 27-year-old has dominated Pacific Coast League hitters all season, posting an 11-5 record with a league-leading 2.15 ERA in 32 games (17 starts). Named to the 12-member All-PCL Team yesterday, Mendoza originally recorded his second career no-hitter on July 18 at Memphis, before a reviewed ruling overturned a ninth-inning error to a double. Mendoza was acquired from the Texas Rangers on April 2, 2010.
Johnny Giavotella was named the Omaha Player of the Year. The 24-year-old was batting .338 with a minor league-leading 153 hits for Triple-A Omaha at the time of his call-up to the Royals on August 5. The second baseman had 34 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 72 RBI and 67 runs scored in 110 games for the Storm Chasers. Giavotella was a starter on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team as well as a member of the 12-member All-PCL Team. The University of New Orleans alum was the Royals’ second-round selection in the 2008 Draft.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (AA)
Left-handed pitcher Will Smith, 22, has been named the Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year. The six-foot-five southpaw is 12-9 with a 4.02 ERA in 26 starts for the Naturals. Smith is 8-3 with a 3.44 ERA in the second half and has helped lead the Naturals to the brink of the second-half division title.
28-year-old Anthony Seratelli is the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year. The versatile performer and Texas League All-Star selection is hitting .283 with 12 doubles, six triples, nine home runs, 61 RBI and 89 runs scored in 123 games. Signed by the Royals from the Independent Frontier League on February 27, 2007, Seratelli has appeared at first base, second base, shortstop, left field and right field this season with the Naturals.
Right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi was named Wilmington Pitcher of the Year. The 21-year-old, acquired as part of the six-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2010, went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 15 starts for the Blue Rocks before a midseason promotion to Northwest Arkansas. The 6-foot-2 righty has combined for 151 strikeouts in 140.0 innings this season.
Rey Navarro, who will turn 22 on December 22, is the Wilmington Player of the Year. The right-handed hitting infielder batted .285 with 17 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs, 41 RBI and 34 runs scored in 72 games for Wilmington before a promotion to Double-A. Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Navarro, who was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 1, 2010.
KANE COUNTY (A)
21-year-old Greg Billo was named the Kane County Pitcher of the Year. The six-foot-four right-hander is 9-5 with a Midwest League-leading 1.94 ERA in 26 games, 17 starts, for the Cougars. In 130.0 innings, the Royals’ 28th round pick from the 2008 Draft out of Orland Park, Ill., has allowed 111 hits while striking out 118 against just 25 walks.
22-year-old outfielder Brian Fletcher was named the Kane County Player of the Year. The former Auburn University slugger is batting .336 (107-for-318) with 30 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 57 RBI and 50 runs scored in 85 games for Kane County. The right-handed hitter and son of former big leaguer Scott Fletcher was the Royals’ 18th-round selection in 2010.
IDAHO FALLS (ROOKIE-ADVANCED)
Right-handed pitcher Edwin Carl, signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on July 20, 2010 out of the University of New Mexico, is the Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year. Carl, 22, has been nearly untouchable in the Pioneer League, posting an astounding 71 strikeouts and just three walks in 33.0 innings for the Chukars. He is 3-1 with five saves and a 1.36 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He was recently promoted to Kane County.
Outfielder Runey Davis, 22, has been named the Idaho Falls Player of the Year. Signed as a minor league free agent on March 9, 2011, the 2009 Chicago Cubs 12th-round selection is hitting .325 with 14 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 36 RBI and 37 runs scored in 50 games for Idaho Falls.
23-year-old right-handed pitcher Nick Graffeo has been named the Burlington Pitcher of the Year. Selected out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Raytown (Mo.) High in the 38th round in 2010, the six-foot hurler is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 17 games, including six starts. The stepson of current Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has struck out 53 and walked 16 in 53.0 innings of work while holding opponents to a .192 average.
Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, the 2010 Dominican Royals Player of the Year, is the Burlington Royals Player of the Year in 2011. Bonifacio, 18, is hitting .284 with 20 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 30 RBI and 26 runs in 62 games. A resident of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bonifacio was signed as a non-drafted free agent on December 9, 2009.
Andrew Stueve, a 21-year-old right-hander, has been named the Surprise Royals Pitcher of the Year. The six-foot-one hurler was 1-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 21 appearances, including one start, before a promotion to Wilmington. Stueve signed with the Royals as an undrafted free agent on June 11 out of Stanislaus State University.
Shortstop Nick DelGuidice has been named the Surprise Royals Player of the Year. The 21-year-old right-handed hitter batted .408 (51-for-125) with 16 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 24 RBI and 32 runs in 34 games for Surprise before he was promoted to Idaho Falls. DelGuidice was signed by the Royals as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic University on June 12.
DOMINICAN ROYALS (ROOKIE)
Right-handed pitcher Yender Caramo is the Dominican Royals Pitcher of the Year. The just-turned 20-year-old (his birthday was August 25) is 10-3 with a 1.26 ERA in 13 games, including 12 starts. His 10 wins were tied for the league-lead while his ERA was second in the 33-team league. Signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on November 22, 2010, Caramo is from San Felix, Bolivar, Venezuela.
Infielder Ramon Torres, signed by Kansas City as a non-drafted free agent on July 13, 2009, is the Dominican Royals Player of the Year. The 18-year-old hit .260 with 16 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 24 RBI, 35 runs and 14 stolen bases in 60 games. Torres, a switch hitter, resides in Santiago Rodriguez, Dominican Republic.
The Pacific Coast League today announced its 12-member All-PCL team for the 2011 season. The Omaha Storm Chasers, Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate, were represented on the team by second baseman Johnny Giavotella, right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza and designated hitter Clint Robinson. Omaha was the only club to have three players voted to the squad. Giavotella, Mendoza and Robinson also represented Omaha and the PCL at the Triple-A All-Star Game in July.
Giavotella, 24, appeared at the Triple-A level for the first time in 2011. The right-handed batter compiled a .338 average with 34 doubles, nine home runs, 72 RBI and 67 runs in 110 games for the Storm Chasers. The league’s Player of the Month for June, Giavotella led the minor leagues with 153 hits at the time of his August 5 promotion to Kansas City. A University of New Orleans product, Giavotella was Kansas City’s second-round selection in the 2008 June Free Agent Draft.
Mendoza, 27, is 11-5 with a PCL-best 2.15 ERA and two saves in 138.1 innings over 32 appearances (17 starts). He has dominated the league since May 26, posting a 10-2 mark and a 1.24 ERA over 108.2 innings. The native of Mexico originally signed with the Boston Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent on June 12, 2000. He made his Major League debut for the Texas Rangers in 2007 and appeared in four games with Kansas City in 2010 after being acquired from Texas on April 2 that season.
Robinson, 26, joined Omaha in 2011 after winning the Texas League Triple Crown last season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The left-handed batter is hitting .329 with 23 home runs, 97 RBI and 35 doubles, two shy of tying Omaha’s single-season record. He has led the push for a playoff spot, recording a .478 average (32-for-67) over his last 18 contests. Robinson was selected by Kansas City in the 25th round of the 2007 June Free Agent Draft out of Troy University.
The third annual Royals 5K Run/Walk took place on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Proceeds from the event went to Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, an organization dedicated to improving the lives and mobility of physically and mentally challenged children, and Royals Charities. Thank you to everyone who took part on a beautiful Sunday morning at The K!
In this edition of “KC Close Up” our spotlight is on 25-year old right-handed reliever and Mississippi native, Louis Coleman.
Louis was born in Greenwood, Mississippi (http://greenwoodms.org/) located on the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta with a population of about 15,000. He resides in nearby Schlater (population 388). The right-hander attended high school at Pillow Academy in Greenwood and went on to attend Louisiana State University on a baseball scholarship, recording a 14-2 record his senior year with a 2.93 ERA and 142 strikeouts. Louis was awarded SEC Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and led LSU to the College World Series, where he was on the mound as the last out was recorded in the title game vs. Texas.
But we will let Louis tell you more about the Tigers’ feat and some other interesting facts that you might not know about the rookie reliever. Around the Horn would also like to include fellow left-handed reliever and Louis’ locker neighbor, Everett Teaford. Everett took it upon himself to help answer some of Coleman’s questions during the interview.
Coleman: Definitely winning the World Series and my first complete game shutout vs. Arkansas, so that’s high up on the list but that’s more of an individual thing instead of a team thing.
ATH: If you weren’t playing baseball, what occupation would you have and why?
Coleman: Professional hunter and fisher. It would be pretty laid back and a lot of fun, I really enjoy hunting.
ATH: What guy wouldn’t want to do that?!
ATH: If you could see a collaboration of your favorite artists in concert, who would they be?
Coleman: Oh man… I like a lot of classic rock and country but Garth Brooks would definitely have to be there. Hhhmmm, I’m not really good with the names of artists, I don’t know their names I just know their songs. Bryan Adams, he could be there! He sings Summer of ’69 and I like that song a lot. Then Elton John, he could be there. I like the old guys, like the 70s and 80s is what I grew up listening to because that’s what my Dad listens to, so a lot of classic rock.
ATH: What is your favorite downtime hobby?
Coleman: I really enjoy sleeping but hunting is definitely my favorite.
ATH: What kind of hunting?
ATH: What is your favorite quote and where or who is it from?
Coleman: Oh man, how am I supposed to answer that!
Teaford: Go for a Greg Holland quote!
ATH: If you had to be on any reality television show, which one would it be?
Coleman: Probably The Bachelor, I could definitely be on The Real World.
Coleman: Swamp People, done! I’ll take Pap [Pappy Landry, Season One] with me, go hang out with Troy [Landry, Season One and Two].
ATH: So, do you think due to his great reactions on TV while you pitch, your dad is a bigger celebrity in the KC area than you are?
Coleman: I’ve definitely gotten a lot of questions about him and why he gets fired up. I’m just a middle reliever so he probably is more popular than I am.
ATH: Your first big league save came at Yankee Stadium and your first win was at Fenway Park…
Coleman: I’m going to get my first hit at Wrigley Field, it’s going to happen.
Teaford: Ha! Your first hit?! Pop it up into the sun!
Coleman: Yes, for the trifecta. My first hit at Wrigley Field!
ATH: We appreciate your readership and hope that you learned a little more about the Royals’ right-hander Louis Coleman with the help of his locker neighbor, Everett Teaford, in this edition of “KC Close Up”!
Before the Royals wrapped up their four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, manager Ned Yost discussed the effect a knuckleballer like Tim Wakefield would have on a hitter’s timing over the next few games. Despite seeing a plethora of knuckleballs last night, which are much slower than the average Major League pitch, Yost doesn’t seem to think his players will have trouble adjusting back to normal speed.
“It didn’t mess up our timing after he [Wakefield] got out of the game, so I don’t look for it to have any effect on us [today],” Yost said.
After today’s 1:10 matchup against Boston, the Royals hit the road for 17 of their next 20 games. The road hasn’t been kind to the Royals so far this year, as they are just 19-39, compared to 33-36 at home. Yost isn’t exactly sure of the reason for such a drastic split between their home and road records, but thinks it could have something to do with the bigger park at Kauffman Stadium.
“This park plays better for our pitching staff than a smaller park. We’ve got more room to make mistakes with the young pitchers,” Yost said. “This place allows us to run down more of those mistakes, where other parks aren’t so forgiving.”
Yost also said he believes some of his players are more than deserving of some accolades after the season.
“I think he [Alex Gordon] and [Alcides] Escobar both should get Gold Glove consideration, and Frenchy [Jeff Francoeur] too,” Yost said. “With what our outfielders have done defensively, and with what Escobar has done defensively, I think that those guys should be given a hard look for Gold Glove.”
Yost also praised Gordon for his base running, something the Royals have made a focal point. Yost said the whole team has been better about understanding how to run the bases aggressively and take an extra base whenever an opportunity presents itself.
“We’ve done that a lot [taking the extra base] when outfielders have hesitated for just a second,” Yost said. “We’re taking advantage of those situations, and Alex does it really, really well.”
Today’s game starts at 1:10. Let’s take a look at the lineup for the homestand finale:
Gordon – LF
Cabrera – CF
Butler – DH
Hosmer – 1B
Francoeur – RF
Giavotella – 2B
Perez – C
Moustakas – 3B
Escobar – SS
Duffy – LHP