The Royals today named their Player and Pitcher of the Year awards for 2013. Outfielder Lane Adams was tabbed the George Brett Hitter of the Year, while right-handed pitcher Yordano Ventura was named the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year. Both award winners will be recognized during spring training.
Adams, 24, was previously named the Wilmington (A-Advanced) Player of the Year. He played at three levels during the 2013 season, seeing time at Wilmington, Northwest Arkansas (AA) and with Omaha (AAA) during the postseason. He hit .276 in 87 games for the Blue Rocks, collecting 23 doubles, seven homers and 39 RBI. He ranked ninth in the Carolina League with 23 stolen bases. The 6-foot-4 outfielder tied Naturals’ club records in an August 13 game against Corpus Christi, slugging three homers and collecting seven RBI.
Ventura, 22, made his Major League debut with the Royals on September 17 of this year, but split most of the season between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. He opened the year with the Naturals before being promoted to Triple-A on his 22nd birthday, June 3. The right-handed pitcher recorded 155 strikeouts in 132.2 innings between the two levels, while he was 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA for the Storm Chasers after the All-Star break. He made three starts with Kansas City in September, going 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA. His debut against Cleveland made national headlines when he clocked a pitch at 102.8 mph, the fastest recorded by an MLB starting pitcher in 2013. Ventura was recently named the second-best prospect in the Royals’ organization by Baseball America.
The Royals and 610 Sports Radio today announced the first 18 broadcasts of the 2014 Royals Spring Training Radio schedule that will air on KCSP-AM. All Spring Training contests will be webcast on royals.com, including the games not on 610 Sports Radio. Two more broadcasts will be finalized once the NCAA Tournament schedule is released due to 610’s commitment to University of Kansas basketball.
The 2014 spring radio broadcast schedule is as follows:
Thursday February 27 vs. Texas 2:05 p.m.
Friday February 28 @ Texas 2:05 p.m.
Saturday March 1 vs. San Diego 2:05 p.m.
Sunday March 2 @ Chicago Cubs 2:05 p.m.
Monday March 3 @ Chicago White Sox 2:05 p.m.
Tuesday March 4 vs. Cincinnati 2:05 p.m.
Thursday March 6 vs. Chicago White Sox (ss) 2:05 p.m.
Friday March 7 vs. San Francisco 2:05 p.m.
Sunday March 9 vs. Colorado 3:05 p.m.
Monday March 10 @ Seattle (ss) 3:05 p.m.
Tuesday March 11 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 3:05 p.m.
Wednesday March 12 @ Oakland 3:05 p.m.
Sunday March 16 @ San Diego 3:05 p.m.
Monday March 17 vs. Texas 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday March 19 vs. Cincinnati 8:05 p.m.
Saturday or March 22 or vs. Texas* 3:05 p.m.
Sunday March 23 @ San Francisco* 3:05 p.m.
Monday March 24 @ Colorado 3:05 p.m.
Tuesday March 25 vs. Seattle 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday March 26 @ San Diego 2:05 p.m.
Friday or March 28 or @ Milwaukee** 7:10 p.m.
Saturday March 29 @ Milwaukee** 1:10 p.m.
*Either the March 22 or 23 game will air, to be determined by NCAA Tournament schedule
**Either the March 28 or 29 game will air, to be determined by NCAA Tournament schedule
All Times Central – Game Times Subject to Change
For the 46th year, Royals Hall of Famer Denny Matthews will call Spring Training play-by-play action. Matthews will be joined by Ryan Lefebvre, Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart. The exhibition webcasts will be anchored by Stewart.
The Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Jon Rauch for the 2014 season. Rauch has been invited to Major League Spring Training.
The 35-year old began 2013 with the Miami Marlins, going 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA over 15 games. He also made 10 appearances with Triple-A Norfolk in the Orioles organization, compiling a 2.89 ERA. Rauch is 43-40 with 62 saves over 556 career Major League appearances since debuting in 2002.
It has been a busy 24 hours for the Royals…last night, lefty reliever Tim Collins agreed to terms on a 2014 contract, avoiding arbitration.
Today, infielder Emilio Bonifacio, right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar and first baseman Eric Hosmer all agreed to terms, leaving just three unsigned arbitration-eligible players: right-handed pitchers Aaron Crow and Greg Holland and outfielder Justin Maxwell.
The Royals followed the Brad Penny signing by inking pitcher Guillermo Mota to a minor league contract for the 2014 season. Mota will receive an invite to Major League Spring Training.
Mota, 40, last pitched in the Majors in 2012, when he was Penny’s teammate in San Francisco. Mota made 26 relief appearances for the Giants that season, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA, recording 24 strikeouts in 20.2 innings. The right-handed reliever began his career in 1999 with the Montreal Expos and has pitched for six other organizations: Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-04, 2009), Florida (2004-05), Cleveland (2006) New York Mets (2006-07), Milwaukee (2008) and San Francisco (2010-12). He is 39-45 in 743 appearances (all in relief) with a 3.94 ERA. Since 1999, only five other pitchers have made more relief appearances than Mota.
Mota and Penny were actually involved in the same trade in 2004 – a six-player deal that sent Penny, Hee Seop Choi and Bill Murphy to the Dodgers, with Mota joining Paul LoDuca and Juan Encarnacion in Florida.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed two-time All-Star pitcher Brad Penny to a minor league contract for the 2014 season, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training, which opens on Friday, February 14 in Surprise, AZ, when pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report.
Penny, 35, is a two-time All-Star (2006-07) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning 16 games in each season. He led the National League in winning percentage in 2007 (.800), going 16-4 with a 3.03 ERA (70 ER in 208.0 innings). The right-handed hurler last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2012, with the San Francisco Giants, going 0-1 with a 6.16 ERA in 22 appearances out of the bullpen. Penny has pitched in 13 Major League seasons, spending time with Florida (2000-04), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2004-08), Boston (2009), San Francisco (2009, 2012), St. Louis (2010) and Detroit (2011). He was originally a fifth round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1996 draft. The veteran pitcher has helped three different teams reach the postseason, including in 2003 when he was a member of the World Champion Marlins’ starting rotation. Penny went 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two World Series starts that season against the Yankees.
Baseball America today published a list of the Royals Top 10 prospects. Kyle Zimmer, the club’s first round pick in the 2012 June Free Agent Draft, is ranked as the club’s top prospect. To see the entire list plus other rankings such as the “Best Power Hitter” and the pitcher with the “Best Fastball”, visit http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2014-kansas-city-royals-top-10-prospects/
The Royals announced today that the club has invited 16 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. Among the invitations are seven pitchers, three catchers, two infielders and four outfielders.
Included in the 16 invitees are 10 that played in the Royals’ organization last season. Right-handed pitcher Jason Adam (fifth round, 2010), left-handed pitcher Scott Alexander (sixth round, 2010), right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks (ninth round, 2011) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer (first round-fifth overall, 2012) were all drafted by the Royals, while right-handed pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon, catcher Juan Graterol and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio all signed as non-drafted free agents. Catcher Adam Moore and outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Paulo Orlando all played in Kansas City’s system in 2013. Other non-roster invitees include right-handed pitchers Cory Wade and P.J. Walters, catcher Ramon Hernandez, infielders Jason Donald and Brandon Laird and outfielder Melky Mesa.
Royals 40-man roster: http://mlb.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=kc
Royals non-roster invites: http://mlb.mlb.com/team/roster_nri.jsp?c_id=kc
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Friday, February 14. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Saturday, February 15. The remainder of the squad will report on Wednesday, February 19 and begin workouts for the 2014 campaign on Thursday, February 20.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez to a minor league contract for 2014. The Royals plan to announce all of the club’s Major League camp non-roster invitees at a later date.
Hernandez, 37, has spent 15 seasons in the Majors Leagues and is a career .263 hitter with a .327 on-base and a .417 slugging percentage for Oakland (1999-2003), San Diego (2004-05), Baltimore (2006-08), Cincinnati (2009-11), Colorado (2012) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2013). His 757 RBI since the start of the 1999 season rank fifth among Major League catchers in that time, while his 169 homers are seventh-most among big league backstops. He played in 17 games for the Dodgers in 2013, batting .208 (10-for-48) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI, before being released on June 22.
An All-Star in 2003, Hernandez hit .273 in 140 games that season for the A’s, belting 21 homers and collecting 78 RBI, helping the team to its fourth-straight postseason appearance. He collected a career-high 23 homers and 91 RBI in 2006, his first year with the Orioles. Hernandez has participated in six postseason series, reaching the playoffs with Oakland (2000-03), San Diego (2005) and Cincinnati (2010).
A group of Royals minor league players recently participated in a team building exercise at the club’s facility in Surprise, Ariz. The players assembled 10 bicycles, then presented the new wheels to children associated with The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix. The children enjoyed a pizza party with the players before the bike presentation.
The Royals worked with the Bike Build for Charity program, which is operated by Impact 4 Good (impact4good.com).