Royals sign seven players to minor league contracts for 2012
The Royals announced today that the club has signed seven players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season, including re-signing right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and infielder Jamie Romak, who both played in the organization in 2011.
Left-handed pitcher Marlon Arias, 27, currently is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five relief outings with Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League. Arias last pitched professionally in 2009 for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, reaching the Triple-A level with Albuquerque. He is 31-19 in his minor league career with a 5.19 ERA in 100 games, including 75 starts. The 6-foot-3, 168-pounder from Bani, Dominican Republic was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on March 11, 2003.
30-year-old left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy, a native of Kansas City, Mo., and current Parkville, Mo., resident, received his first taste of the big leagues in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox, appearing in eight contests. The 6-foot, 195-pounder also pitched at Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) last season, combining for a 2-0 record with a 2.47 ERA in 32 relief stints. Hottovy graduated from Park Hill South High (Kansas City, Mo.) and attended Wichita State University before being selected by the Red Sox in the third round in 2004. He is currently pitching for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and is 0-0 with one save and a 3.52 ERA in 12 appearances.
Zach Miner, 29, was re-signed by the Royals after splitting his 2011 campaign between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). He began the season in extended spring training as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery on May 28, 2010. Miner made his debut with the Naturals on May 16 and was 1-6 with a 7.16 ERA in 11 starts before going 2-1 with a save and a 1.59 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Omaha down the stretch. Miner has made 157 career Major League outings, including 35 starts, for the Tigers from 2006-09. The Royals initially signed him as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2011.
27-year-old infielder Tony Abreu spent his entire 2011 season with Triple-A Reno in the Arizona organization. Playing mostly second base and shortstop, the switch-hitter batted .292 (141-for-483) with 26 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 72 RBI and 83 runs scored in 120 games. The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder appeared in the Major Leagues for parts of three seasons with the Dodgers (2007, ’09) and D’Backs (2010), hitting .251 in 146 games while playing second, short and third base. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic resident missed the entire 2008 season after having hip surgery.
Infielder Eric Duncan, 27, hit .274 (96-for-351) with 21 doubles, a career-best 22 home runs and 62 RBI in 103 games with Springfield (AA) in the St. Louis Cardinals system in 2011. The former first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2003 played first base, second base, third base and left field last season. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is a left-handed hitter and resides in West Orange, N.J.
26-year-old Jamie Romak has re-signed with the Royals after serving as the first baseman and designated hitter with Northwest Arkansas in 2011, batting .251 (110-for-439) with 21 doubles, 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 123 games. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from London, Ontario, Canada, helped Team Canada to the Gold medal at the Pan-Am Games this fall. He originally signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on October 24, 2010.
Infielder Sharlon Schoop, 24, spent the entire 2011 campaign with Double-A Richmond in the Giants system, batting .218 (45-for-206) in 80 games. The middle infielder and right-handed hitter is a native of Willemstad, Curacao, and competed in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands. Schoop, 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, originally signed with the San Francisco on March 30, 2004.