2016 April Gameday2

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INSIDE PIT H

2016 | Issue 1 | April

PHOTO OF THE ISSUE: Royals Christian Colón collects the game-winning hit in the 12th

inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, sending home OF Jarrod Dyson. Colón, a

2012-15 Storm Chaser, safely hit in his first postseason at-bat, helping the Royals win

their first championship since 1985. (AP Photo)

THE HEART OF THE ORDER

32 JOSE MARTINEZ

Bursting onto the scene, Jose Martinez set

a modern-era PCL record with a .384 AVG.

By Andrew Green

46 FROM OMAHA TO WORLD

SERIES CHAMPS

14 former Storm Chasers won a World Series

with the Royals in 2015

ON DECK

5 PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE

11 2016 STORM CHASERS ROSTER

16 LETTER FROM BRACH RICKEY III

42 OPPONENTS IN APRIL/MAY

58 BASEBALL AMERICA ON ROYALS

61 CHASERS INBOX

CHASERS GAMEDAY MAGAZINE The Official Program of the Omaha Storm Chasers

Managing Editor/Design

Adam McLaughlin

Editors/Contributors

Andrew Green

Cody Allen

Printed by MSM Print

#STIRUPTHESTORM

Contributing Photographers

Brad Williams, SWI Sports Images Minda Haas

Minda Haas, Christian Cuozzo

© 2016 Omaha Storm Chasers. All rights reserved.

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 3


PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE

AMERICAN NORTHERN

COLORADO SPRINGS

SKY SOX

@skysox

skysox.com

IOWA

CUBS

@IowaCubs

iowacubs.com

OKLAHOMA CITY

DODGERS

@okc_dodgers

okcdodgers.com

OMAHA

STORM CHASERS

@OMAStormChasers

omahastormchasers.com

2015 American Northern Champions: Oklahoma City (86-58)

AMERICAN SOUTHERN

MEMPHIS

REDBIRDS

@memphisredbirds

memphisredbirds.com

NASHVILLE

SOUNDS

@nashvillesounds

nashvillesounds.com

NEW ORLEANS

ZEPHYRS

@zephyrsbaseball

zephyrsbaseball.com

ROUND ROCK

EXPRESS

@RRExpress

rrexpress.com

2015 American Southern Champions: Round Rock (78-66)

PACIFIC NORTHERN

FRESNO

GRIZZLIES

@FresnoGrizzlies

fresnogrizzlies.com

RENO

ACES

@Aces

renoaces.com

SACRAMENTO

RIVER CATS

@RiverCats

rivercats.com

TACOMA

RAINIERS

@RainiersLand

tacomarainiers.com

2015 Pacific Northern Champions: Fresno (84-59)

PACIFIC SOUTHERN

ALBUQUERQUE

ISOTOPES

@AbqTopes

abqisotopes.com

EL PASO

CHIHUAHUAS

@epchihuahuas

epchihuahuas.com

LAS VEGAS

51s

@LasVegas51s

lv51.com

SALT LAKE

BEES

@SaltLakeBees

slbees.com

2015 Pacific Southern Champions: El Paso (78-66)

#STIRUPTHESTORM CHASERS GAMEDAY | 5


2016 FIELD STAFF

27

11

X

BRIAN POLDBERG CHRIS DWYER MANAGER

• Brian Poldberg is in his third season with Omaha

• Became the second Kansas City Royals Triple-A Manager to

win a League title in his first season (Jack McKeon in 1969)

and sixth PCL Manager since 1998.

• Spent six seasons with Northwest Arkansas Naturals from

2008-13. Appeared in playoffs each year from 2008-11 and

won the 2010 Texas League Championship.

• Kansas City Royals organization’s Dick Howser Award

winner in 1998 and 2010.

• Spent the 2004-07 seasons on the Royals Major League

staff, serving as Bullpen Coach (2004-05), First Base Coach

(2006), Third Base Coach (2007).

• Played in New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals

organizations across seven seasons, and was a catcher for

the Omaha Royals 1983-85.

• Wife: Lori, Sons: Adam, Deric and John.

TOMMY CHRIS GREGG DWYER

• Tommy Gregg is in his eighth season as hitting coach in

Omaha, his 11th season in the Royals organization and 19th

season overall in Minor League Baseball.

• Only Field Staff member to coach on all three of Omaha’s

Pacific Coast League Championships in 2011, 2013-14.

• Royals hitting coach for the Royals Double-A affiliate,

Northwest Arkansas in 2007-08 (with Poldberg in 2008).

• Coached three seasons for the Atlanta Braves with Low-A

Macon (1999-2000) and High-A Myrtle Beach (2001).

• Played nine seasons in the Majors for Pittsburgh, Atlanta,

Cincinnati and Florida. Appeared in four games for the

Braves in the 1991 World Series vs Minnesota.

• Wife: Tonya, Daughters: Jordan and Rachel.

HITTING

COACH

ANDY HAWKINS CHRIS DWYER

• Andy Hawkins is in his first season in Omaha

DAVE IANNICCA

PITCHING

COACH

• Previously served as Bullpen Coach with the Texas Rangers

from 2008-15.

• 1st round selection by the Padres in the 1978 MLB Draft,

a 10-year Major League veteran, pitching with the Padres

(1982-88), Yankees (1989-91) & Athletics (1991).

• Earned win in Game 2 of the 1984 World Series with the

Padres (lone SD pitcher to earn win in World Series game).

• Wife: Jodi, Children: Katy, Libby, Curtis and Maggie.

ATHLETIC

TRAINER

JOE GREANY

STRENGTH

COACH

6

OMAHA STORM CHASERS


WERNER PARK GUIDE

Atlast Autograph Bridge

Autographs from players and coaches may be obtained before each

game along the east side of the left field ramp at the Atlas Autograph

Bridge. Autograph seekers are expected to use their “Pleases” and

“Thank Yous.” On select Sunday’s, the Omaha World-Herald will provide

FREE autographs cards (first 1,000 fans) between 60 and 30 minutes

prior to the game.

Basketball Court

Half-court basketball can be played for FREE on an adjustable hoop in

deep left-centerfield between the Bud Light Downdraught Bar and th

Borsheims Whiffleball Diamond.

Birthday’s & Special Announcements

For a donation of $5 or more to Chasers Charities, the charitable arm

of the Omaha Storm Chasers , fans can make a special announcement

through the Werner Park PA system during home games. Please visit

the Nebraska Methodist College Fan Services prior to the 3rd Inning.

Borsheims Whiffleball Diamond

The Borsheims Whiffleball Diamond is a free children’s area beyond the

centerfield fence to the right of the basketball court. The whiffleball

diamond has 45-foot bases, a field turf infield and grass outfield. The

field is also a miniature tribute to historic Rosenblatt Stadium.

Bud Light Downdraught

The Bud Light Downdraught Bar is located below the Werner Park

scoreboard in left-centerfield. Beverages will be served in this 21 and

older area until the end of the seventh inning. ID is required. The

Bud Light Downdraught Bar includes a billiards & foosball table, TVs

and heaters.

McDonald’s Berm

The McDonald’s Berm is a grass seating area located in left and right

field. This General Admission area is a first-come, first-served area.

Fans may sit on blankets, but due to the slight slope of the berm and for

the safety of our fans, lawn chairs are not permitted inside Werner Park.

Centris Family Fun Zone

The Centris Family Fun Zone is for children ages 3-10 and is filled with

inflatables, playground equipment, a carousel and games. Cost per

game is $5.00 per child (kids 2 and under are FREE). The Centris

Family Fun Zone is located in foul territory down the left field line.

Concourse

The concourse at Werner Park wraps 360 degrees around the ballpark

and is approximately .34 miles per lap. Rosenblatt Way presented by

CHI Health is the name of the first base concourse and Bob Gibson

Boulevard is the name of the third base concourse.

Home Run Porch

The Home Run Porch is a General Admission bleacher section located

in fair territory next to the left field foul pole. It is first-come, firstserved

for fans holding a Home Run Porch ticket. And as its title states,

this section is the perfect place to catch a Home Run fly!

Nebraska Methodist College Fan Services

The Nebraska Methodist College Fan Services Booth is located behind

Section 115. Fans may obtain assistance, offer suggestions and claim

prizes given away during the game. Fan Services is open from the time

the gates open until the end of the game.

8

OMAHA STORM CHASERS


Pinnacle Bank ATMs

Pinnacle Bank provides two ATMs inside of Werner Park. One is

located inside the main gates off to your right and one is located

down Bob Gibson Boulevard along the third base concourse.

Sun Valley Party Patio

Located next to the Bud Light Downdraught Bar beyond the left field

wall, the Sun Valley Party Patio brings the ultimate outdoor experience

to Werner Park with brick and stone infrastructure and a fire pit. The

party patio is a permanent set for the Storm Chasers Live Pre-Game

Show, Sun Valley Landscaping SC LIVE.

Storm Front Team Store

The Storm Front Team Store is located next to the main gate with

access from both inside and outside the ballpark. Fans have the

opportunity to purchase a wide selection of official Storm Chasers and

KC Royals merchandise. On game days, the Storm Front Team Store will

close two hours prior game time and stay open 45 minutes after last

pitch. It is also open during the season from 10 AM to 5 PM, M-F.

Suites

Werner Park features 14 traditional luxury suites including the 3rd nase

SuperCuts Suite and one field-level suite, the Safeco Insurance Mike

Jirschele Dugout Suite. Suites have a capacity of 18 people. Wait

service, specialty foods and drinks are available.

VIP Club

The VIP Club is an exclusive area on the main concourse level for

Diamond Club, Party Decks, Club and Suite ticket holders. This indoor

private bar and outside courtyard with heaters features beverage

options not found in the regular concessions stands. Those who would

like access to the VIP Club may upgrade any ticket at the advance ticket

window behind Section 114 to include admission.

Ballpark............................................................................................Werner Park

Year Opened................................................................................................... 2011

Fixed Seat Capacity...............................................................................6,434

Total Ballpark Capacity........................................................................9,023

Field Dimensions

LF ............................................................................................................................310’

CF ..........................................................................................................................402’

RF ........................................................................................................................... 315’

Playing Surface................................................... Kentucky Blue Grass

Flagship Radio Station...................... 1180 ZONE 2 - THE DEUCE

Games Broadcast.......................................................................................... 144

Broadcasters............................................Mark Nasser, Donny Baarns

Sports Turf Manager........................................................... Noah Diercks

Gates Open......................................65 minutes prior to each game

P.A. Announcers:

Craig Evans, Jake Ryan, Wayne Shorter

Official Scoreres:

Frank Adkisson, Steve Pivovar, Ryan White

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 9


2016 ROSTER

SCOTT ALEXANDER LHP

HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 190 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: July 10, 1989 (Santa Rosa, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 26

ACQUIRED: Selected in 6th round of 2012 MLB Draft

ALEXANDER IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

OMAHA 2-3 2.56 41 0 0 0 14 63.1 48 21 18 5 1 17 50 10 .209

Kansas City 0-0 4.50 4 0 0 0 0 6.0 5 3 3 0 1 3 3 1 .238

MIGUEL ALMONTE RHP

HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 210 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: April 4, 1993 (Santiago, Dominican Republic)

OPENING DAY AGE: 23

ACQUIRED: Signed as non-drafted free agent (11/20/10)

ALMONTE IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Northwest Arkansas 4-4 4.03 17 17 0 0 0 67.0 65 31 30 4 8 27 55 4 .255

OMAHA 2-2 5.40 11 6 0 0 0 36.2 33 24 22 3 3 15 41 1 .244

Kansas City 0-2 6.23 9 0 0 0 0 8.2 7 6 6 4 1 7 10 0 .212

CLINT BARMES INF

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 200 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: March 6, 1979 (Vincennes, Indiana)

OPENING DAY AGE: 37

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (2/18/16)

BARMES IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

San Diego .232 98 207 24 48 14 1 3 16 10 55 0 1 0 3 4 .281 .353 8

CHRISTIAN BINFORD RHP

HEIGHT: 6-6 WEIGHT: 217 BATS/THROWS: L/R

BORN: December 12, 1992 (Boynton Beach, Florida)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Selected in 30th Round of 2011 MLB Draft

BINFORD IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

OMAHA 1-4 5.86 6 6 0 0 0 27.2 31 19 18 4 0 15 9 0 .284

Northwest Arkansas 4-7 5.03 16 16 0 0 0 91.1 118 58 51 6 2 23 60 0 .319

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 11


Watch the Game in Your Favorite

Gildan t-shirts, socks and underwear.

Gildan is proud to be the National Sponsor of Triple-A Baseball,

the Gildan Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game

and your Omaha Storm Chasers.

use promo code BASES

4.1.16 thru 9.1.16


2016 ROSTER

JORGE BONIFACIO OF

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 195 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: June 4, 1993 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

OPENING DAY AGE: 23

ACQUIRED: Signed as non-drafted free agent (12/9/09)

BARMES IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Northwest Arkansas .240 125 483 60 116 30 2 17 64 42 126 3 2 5 1 5 .305 .416 5

ORLANDO CALIXTE INF

HEIGHT: 5-11 WEIGHT: 160 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: February 3, 1992 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Signed as non-drafted free agent (8/28/10)

CALIXTE IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Kansas City .000 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 0

OMAHA .229 107 354 38 81 11 2 8 27 27 84 22 3 0 11 2 .287 .339 19

DUSTY COLEMAN INF

HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 205 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: April 20, 1987 (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

OPENING DAY AGE: 28

ACQUIRED: Signed as a minor league free agent (1/16/15)

COLEMAN IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Northwest Arkansas .341 26 91 12 31 9 0 2 18 14 23 4 4 1 1 6 .460 .505 5

Kansas City .000 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 0

OMAHA .275 73 251 31 69 11 2 7 27 14 69 8 2 0 7 4 .323 .418 9

TONY CRUZ

HEIGHT: 5-11 WEIGHT: 215 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: August 18, 1986 (Palm Beach, Florida)

OPENING DAY AGE: 29

ACQUIRED: Via trade from St. Louis (12/2/15)

CRUZ IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

St. Louis .204 69 142 6 29 7 1 2 11 6 32 0 0 1 2 0 .325 .310 0

C

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 13


2016 ROSTER

MALCOLM CULVER RHP

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 197 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: February 9, 1990 (Panorama City, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Selected in 8th Round of 2008 MLB Draft

CULVER IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Northwest Arkansas 2-6 4.19 43 0 0 0 8 58.0 58 29 27 2 2 30 59 3 .253

CHESLOR CUTHBERT INF

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 190 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: November 16, 1992 (Corn Island, Nicaragua)

OPENING DAY AGE: 23

ACQUIRED: Signed as non-drafted free agent (7/2/09)

CUTHBERT IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

OMAHA .277 104 397 55 110 22 1 11 51 37 60 5 2 2 1 1 .339 .421 7

Kansas City .217 19 46 6 10 2 1 1 8 4 9 0 0 0 0 0 .280 .370 1

CODY DECKER INF

HEIGHT: 5-11 WEIGHT: 225 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: January 17, 1987 (Santa Monica, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 29

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (12/3/15)

DECKER IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

El Paso .252 120 373 52 94 23 1 21 75 42 107 1 0 1 0 5 .335 .488 15

San Diego .000 8 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 0

ALLAN DE SAN MIGUEL

HEIGHT: 5-9 WEIGHT: 205 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: February 1, 1988 (Perth, Australia)

OPENING DAY AGE: 28

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/6/16)

DE SAN MIGUEL IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Rochester .375 3 8 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 .375 .500 0

- Participated in the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiying Round for Team Australia, helping club clinch 2017 berth.

C

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 15


Thank you for joining us this season and helping the PCL continue its tradition as one

of the most prestigious leagues in professional sports.

16

OMAHA STORM CHASERS

LETTER FROM THE

PCL PRESIDENT

BRANCH RICKEY III

Baseball Enthusiasts:

It is a pleasure to have you join us in sharing another thrilling year of Pacific Coast

League Baseball. Now in our 114th season, we take great pride in being one of the

premier leagues in all of Minor League Baseball. Our 16 clubs have spent the offseason

hard at work preparing to bring you another season full of lasting memories.

Their success in these efforts has never been more transparent than with the 7,230,514

fans that walked through the gates last season. Not only was that figure up 3.3 percent

from the previous year, it marked the fourth highest total in the PCL’s storied history.

El Paso, following up their inaugural season, set an attendance record, while seven

other clubs saw their totals rise from 2014.

The action on the field was equally historic. The Fresno Grizzlies, in the first season as

the affiliate of the Houston Astros, won a franchise-best 84 regular season games

before beating El Paso and Round Rock, the latter in an epic five-game series, to

capture their first PCL title. In the 10th Triple-A National Championship Game, the

Grizzlies beat the International League’s Columbus Clippers, 7-0, to cap the most

successful season in their franchise’s 19-year PCL history.

The PCL takes great pleasure in developing some of the sport’s finest young talent.

This was especially true last year, as six of Baseball America’s Top 10 prospects

played in our league, with many going on to make an immediate impact with their

parent club. In total, 118 players from the PCL made their major league debuts, a

number that increased for the third consecutive season. Oklahoma City saw a PCLbest

11 players advance to the big leagues for the first time, while seven other clubs

had at least eight!

Not only is the PCL as healthy as it’s ever been, so too is Minor League Baseball,

with our league as a driving force behind it. In a day and age in which popularity is

measured by retweets and likes, social media has allowed fans to say engaged with

content all year long. Minor League Baseball’s Facebook and Twitter accounts both

saw their networks grow over 15 percent last year, garnering nearly 4 million combined

engagements.

As the 2016 season progresses, we are looking forward to another record-breaking

season that will culminate with the Triple-A National Championship Game, hosted

by our Memphis Redbirds. While it remains to be seen which teams will compete in

that contest, one item can be certain: It would not be possible without your continued

support.


2016 ROSTER

BRIAN DUENSING LHP

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 200 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: February 22, 1983 (Marysville, Kansas)

OPENING DAY AGE: 33

ACQUIRED: Signed as a minor league free agent (2/18/16)

DUENSING IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Minnesota 4-1 4.25 55 0 0 0 1 48.2 46 24 23 5 4 21 24 3 .254

JONATHAN DZIEDZIC LHP

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 165 BATS/THROWS: R/L

BORN: February 4, 1991 (Houston, Texas)

OPENING DAY AGE: 25

ACQUIRED: Selected in 13th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

DZIEDZIC IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

OMAHA 0-1 21.60 1 1 0 0 0 3.1 10 8 8 3 0 2 4 0 .526

Northwest Arkansas 10-6 3.12 26 25 1 0 0 138.1 138 57 48 9 1 35 93 4 .258

BRETT EIBNER OF

HEIGHT: 6-3 WEIGHT: 195 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: December 2, 1988 (The Woodlands, Texas)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Selected in 2nd Round of 2010 MLB Draft

EIBNER IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

OMAHA .303 103 389 65 118 23 1 19 81 38 79 10 0 2 2 0 .364 .514 3

ANDY FERGUSONRHP

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 203 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: September 2, 1988 (Benton, Arkansas)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Selected in 18th Round of 2011 MLB Draft

FERGUSON IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Northwest Arkansas 4-0 0.85 6 4 0 0 0 31.2 19 4 3 2 0 8 37 1 .173

OMAHA 7-3 3.21 16 14 0 0 0 73.0 65 27 26 11 2 16 71 5 .237

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 17


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© 2016 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROPERTIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


2016 ROSTER

BRIAN FLYNN LHP

HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 210 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: April 19, 1990 (Owasso, Oklahoma)

OPENING DAY AGE: 25

ACQUIRED: Via trade from Miami (11/28/14)

FLYNN IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

OMAHA 0-0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333

BALBINO FUENMAYOR INF

HEIGHT: 6-3 WEIGHT: 195 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: November 26, 1989 (Valencia, Venezuela)

OPENING DAY AGE: 26

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (10/29/14)

FUENMAYOR IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Northwest Arkansas .354 73 291 50 103 22 1 15 51 12 46 1 0 1 0 4 .386 .591 7

OMAHA .377 16 69 12 26 6 1 2 15 0 13 0 0 1 0 0 .371 .580 0

REYMOND FUENTES OF

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 160 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: February 12, 1991 in Orlando, Florida

OPENING DAY AGE: 25

ACQUIRED: Via trade from San Diego (11/20/14)

FUENTES IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

AZL Royals .357 4 14 7 5 3 1 0 1 3 5 0 0 0 3 1 .471 .714 0

OMAHA .308 107 396 70 122 10 4 9 46 30 72 29 6 2 14 3 .360 .422 0

TERRANCE GORE OF

HEIGHT: 5-7 WEIGHT: 165 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: June 8, 1991 (Macon, Georgia)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Selected in 20th Round of 2011 MLB Draft

GORE IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Northwest Arkansas .284 85 222 42 63 4 1 0 16 26 50 39 2 0 8 3 .367 .311 5

Kansas City .000 9 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 1 .250 .000 0

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 19


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REBOOT

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GROUP FITNESS

CLASSES,

YOUTH PROGRAMS,

AND MORE.

Visit us at our three

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31ST & FARNAM

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Visit our site for a full list

of programs, amenities,

and locations.

PRAIRIELIFE.COM


2016 ROSTER

DAVID HUFF LHP

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 210 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: August 22, 1984 (San Diego, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 31

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/9/16)

HUFF IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Los Angeles (NL) 0-0 9.00 3 1 0 0 0 6.0 11 6 6 2 1 1 4 0 .407

Oklahoma City 5-2 2.20 23 4 0 0 0 57.1 49 18 14 4 0 8 43 1 .237

JOHN LANNAN LHP

HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 235 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: September 27, 1984 (Long Beach, New York)

OPENING DAY AGE: 31

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (12/15/15)

LANNAN IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Albuquerque 6-10 5.39 26 25 1 0 0 152.0 209 107 91 11 1 40 83 4 .329

JOSE MARTINEZ OF

HEIGHT: 6-6 WEIGHT: 215 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: July 25, 1988 (La Guaira, Venezuela)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/19/15)

MARTINEZ IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

OMAHA .384 98 341 57 131 25 3 10 60 48 55 8 2 3 1 3 .461 .563 17

WHIT MERRIFIELD OF

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 175 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: January 24, 1989 (Florence, South Carolina)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Selected in 9th Round of 2010 MLB Draft

MERRIFIELD IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

OMAHA .265 135 544 83 144 29 5 5 38 39 66 32 9 3 4 4 .317 .364 11

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 21


2016 ROSTER

RAUL MONDESI INF

HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 185 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: July 27, 1995 (Los Angeles, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 20

ACQUIRED: Signed as a non-drafted free agent (7/27/11)

MONDESI IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Northwest Arkansas .243 81 304 36 74 11 5 6 33 17 88 19 6 5 12 0 .279 .372 15

PARKER MORIN

HEIGHT: 5-11 WEIGHT: 195 BATS/THROWS: L/R

BORN: July 2, 1991 (Richmond, Virginia)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Selected in 14th Round of 2012 Draft

MORIN IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Wilmington .000 3 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 .100 .000 0

Northwest Arkansas .309 56 178 23 55 10 5 4 30 11 36 1 1 1 1 0 .347 .489 1

C

CLAYTON MORTENSENRHP

HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 185 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: April 10, 1985 (Rexburg, Idaho)

OPENING DAY AGE: 30

ACQUIRED: Via trade from Boston (8/27/13)

MORTENSEN IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

OMAHA 7-9 5.40 24 17 0 0 0 106.2 104 68 64 9 4 59 81 2 .256

PETER MOYLANRHP

HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 225 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: December 2, 1978 (Lesmurdie, Australia)

OPENING DAY AGE: 37

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/23/16)

MOYLAN IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Gwinnett 2-0 3.14 27 0 0 0 6 28.2 22 10 10 1 3 9 24 2 .218

Atlanta 1-0 3.48 22 0 0 0 0 10.1 12 5 4 1 0 0 8 0 .273

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 23


LETTER

FROM THE PRESIDENT

Dear Fans:

On behalf of Minor League Baseball and the Omaha Storm Chasers, I want

to welcome you to Werner Park. In towns and cities all across this country,

Minor League Baseball’s arrival every spring and summer is like being reunited

with an old friend. It is great to see you at the ballpark!

Dear With Fans: 20 leagues and more than 250 clubs, Minor League Baseball is where

the future of the game begins. The next generation of major league stars fill

On our behalf rosters of and Minor excite League fans Baseball night after and night. the Omaha Storm Chasers, I want to welcome y

Park. In towns and cities all across this country, Minor League Baseball’s arrival every s

summer So what is makes like being the Minor reunited League with an Baseball old friend. experience It is great unlike to see you any at other ballpark! in

professional sports? Is it the cool logos, unique team names and sometimes

With unidentifiable 20 leagues mascots? and more Is than it the 250 affordable clubs, Minor family League entertainment? Baseball is where Or is the it the future of t

begins. chance The to see next baseball’s generation next of major big name league right stars in fill front our of rosters your and eyes? excite It’s fans all of night afte

these things, and so much more!

So what makes the Minor League Baseball experience unlike any other in professional sp

cool Minor logos, League unique Baseball team names also remains and sometimes an integral unidentifiable part of the mascots? sports landscape, Is it the affordable

entertainment? and of the communities Or is the it chance represents. to see baseball’s Last season, next Minor big name League right Baseball’s in front of your ey

these philanthropic things, and endeavors so much more! included donating approximately $28 million in

cash and value in kind contributions to local and national charities. We are

Minor proud League to support Baseball our National also remains Charity an integral Partners: part The of the ALS sports Association, landscape, the and of the co

represents. American Cancer Last season, Society, Minor Big League Brothers Baseball’s Big Sisters philanthropic and Ed Randall’s endeavors Fans included dona

approximately for the Cure, as $27 well million as other in cash worthy and value initiatives kind and contributions causes. to local and national ch

proud to support our National Charity Partners: The ALS Association, Big Brothers Big S

Olympics In 2015, a and remarkable Ed Randall’s 42.5 Fans MILLION for the Cure, fans as attended well as Minor other worthy League initiatives Baseball and caus

games, the third highest total in the organization’s history. I am certain that

In with 2014, your a remarkable support, Minor 42.4 MILLION League Baseball fans attended will continue Minor League to prosper Baseball for games, many the th

total years in to the come. organization's As stewards history. and I fans am certain of the game, that with is your our support, responsibility Minor League to Bas

continue build, nurture to prosper and for protect many this years great to come. game As for stewards the future and generations fans of the of game, fans. it is our r

build, nurture and protect this great game for the future generations of fans.

Thank you for your passionate support of Minor League Baseball, and most

Thank importantly you for the your Omaha passionate Storm support Chasers. of Minor I wish League you a Baseball, healthy and and enjoyable most importantly t

Storm season Chasers. of baseball. I wish Let’s you play a healthy ball!! and enjoyable season of baseball. Let's play ball!!

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Pat O’Conner

Pat President O'Conner & CEO

President & CEO

24 Minor League Baseball

OMAHA STORM CHASERS


2016 ROSTER

ARONI NINARHP

HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 181 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: April 9, 1990 (Bani, Dominican Republic)

OPENING DAY AGE: 25

ACQUIRED: Signed as a non-drafted free agent (4/1/08)

NINA IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Northwest Arkansas 4-4 5.15 43 0 0 0 1 50.2 47 36 29 2 1 46 50 2 .244

LESTER OLIVEROSRHP

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 235 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: May 28, 1988 (Maracay, Venezuela)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: signed as minor league free agent (1/20/16)

OLIVEROS IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Rochester 3-2 3.79 24 4 0 0 0 35.2 39 15 15 3 3 13 46 2 .277

BROOKS POUNDERS

PLAYER PROFILE

BENINO PRUNEDARHP

HEIGHT: 5-9 WEIGHT: 170 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: August 8, 1988 (Riverside, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/19/15)

LANNAN IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Wilmington 1-0 0.00 5 0 0 0 0 7.1 1 0 0 0 0 4 7 0 .048

Northwest Arkansas 2-0 3.76 31 0 0 0 2 38.1 36 18 16 1 3 19 34 6 .254

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 25


2016 ROSTER

TRAVIS SNIDER OF

HEIGHT: 6-0 WEIGHT: 235 BATS/THROWS: L/L

BORN: February 2, 1988 (Kirkland, Washington)

OPENING DAY AGE: 27

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/30/16)

SNIDER IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Baltimore .237 69 211 23 50 9 2 3 20 23 56 1 0 0 0 2 .318 .341 1

Indianapolis .314 10 35 5 11 1 0 1 4 4 3 0 0 1 0 0 .375 .429 0

Pittsburgh .192 18 26 1 5 3 0 1 8 3 10 0 0 0 0 0 .276 .423 0

BUBBA STARLING OF

HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 210 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: August 3, 1992 (Gardner, Kansas)

OPENING DAY AGE: 23

ACQUIRED: Selected in 1st round of 2011 MLB Draft

STARLING IN 2015

Club AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH HB OBP SLG E

Wilmington .386 12 44 6 17 4 0 2 12 7 17 2 1 0 0 0 .471 .614 0

Northwest Arkansas .254 91 331 51 84 19 4 10 32 30 91 4 5 2 1 2 .318 .426 0

CHIEN-MING WANGRHP

HEIGHT: 6-4 WEIGHT: 225 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: March 31, 1980 (Tainan City, Taiwan)

OPENING DAY AGE: 36

ACQUIRED: Signed as minor league free agent (1/7/16)

WANG IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Gwinnett 2-6 6.10 11 10 0 0 0 62.0 96 46 42 3 1 21 28 1 .366

Tacoma 4-5 5.69 11 10 1 1 0 68.0 89 47 43 8 0 14 23 4 .314

KYLE ZIMMERRHP

HEIGHT: 6-3 WEIGHT: 228 BATS/THROWS: R/R

BORN: September 13, 1991 (San Francisco, California)

OPENING DAY AGE: 24

ACQUIRED: Selected in 1st Round of 2012 MLB Draft

ZIMMER IN 2015

Club W-L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WP AVG

Lexington 1-0 1.13 9 0 0 0 0 16.0 11 3 2 1 0 6 21 2 .190

Northwest Arkansas 2-5 2.81 15 7 0 0 3 48.0 42 20 15 4 0 14 51 1 .235

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 27


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OMAHA STORM CHASERS


BLACK HILLS

ENERGY


32

IF YOU DON’T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW (JOSE MARTINEZ)

What a difference a

year makes.

Just two years ago, Jose Martinez

was with the Rockford

Aviators, an independent league

team about two hours from U.S.

Cellular Field, home of the Chicago

White Sox; the team Martinez

had spent six seasons of his

pro career with, and with whom

his father Carlos had played

for. Martinez had even been

a member of the White Sox’s

Double-A team just two years prior.

But now he was fighting

for his baseball life.

For many the independent

leagues serve as a last chance

of sorts for a baseball career on

life support. A majority for whatever

reason were let go by their

club and will never play again in

affiliated ball. Maybe a handful

will actually make it to the Major

Leagues, though the odds are slim.

And yet Martinez kept pounding

away.

After hitting .337 in 28 games

BY ANDREW GREEN

with the Aviators, Martinez was

given another chance, signing with

the Atlanta Braves and finishing

the year with the organization’s

High-A club, the Lynchburg Hillcats.

But he was still a free agent

at the end of the year, yet again

looking for another team. After batting

.305 in 57 games in winter ball in

Venezuela, the Royals came calling.

The Royals would send Martinez

to Omaha to start the year,

an aggressive assignment considering

he had never taken

one at bat at the Triple-A level.

Challenge Accepted.

Martinez settled in just fine, posting

a .294 average over his first 11

games in the month of April. A good

start, though that certainly did not

foreshadow what was to come.

The bat started to catch fire in

May, when Martinez smashed his

way to a .388 mark over 25 contests.

Ten of those 25 games saw

Martinez collect at least two hits,

including four hits in as many plate

appearances in a game on May 11

OMAHA STORM CHASERS


demanding travel in the Pacific

Coast League and succeeding at a

high level is an incredibly tall task.

But Martinez pushed through.

He hit .382 in 30 games in

August with a .481 on-base percentage.

The latter number a

true testament that Martinez was

grinding through every at bat.

At August’s end, he stood at .381

with 391 plate appearances. Two

more than the final requirement.

The batting title was clinched,

but Martinez also had a chance

at history. The modern-day

Pacific Coast League record

was .383, which he was

just two points away from.

Month G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG OBP

April 11 34 4 10 0 0 2 8 .294 .375

May 25 85 15 33 7 1 2 16 .388 .447

June 3 8 3 4 2 0 0 1 .500 .600

July 24 87 14 35 9 1 2 17 .402 .449

August 30 110 20 42 5 1 4 14 .382 .481

TOTAL 98 341 57 131 25 3 10 60 .384 .461

at Werner Park. Entering June with

a .361 average, it appeared Martinez

was on his way to a career

year, though some adversity would

come soon in the form of injury.

He would play in only three

games before being forced

to miss an entire month, removing

Martinez from Omaha’s

starting lineup until July 4.

After a long layoff, regression

is natural for hitters. Baseball is a

game of rhthym and timing, especially

so when trying to hit a

90+ mph fastball. Martinez would

show no ill effects, though, smashing

a hit in his next five contests.

Incredibly July would actually

turn out to be his best full

month, finishing with a .402 average

in 24 games. His average was

at .383 and now was the time to

start the “Batting Title Watch”.

Besides possibly throwing

Martinez’s timing for a loop, another

side effect of the time off

was the fact that the outfielder

had not accumulated enough

plate appearances yet to qualify

for the PCL batting title.

League rules mandate a batter

must accumulate 2.7 plate appearances

per league game to be eligible

for the batting title. At the

dawn of August, Martinez had 260

plate appearances, 23 shy of the requirement.

He would need to play

almost every game for the remainder

of the year, which included

staying healthy, to have a chance.

August is known as the “dog

days of Summer” for a reason. It

is the final full month of the minor

league season and players have

been working every day since February.

The everday grind is already

taxing, but couple that with the

#STIRUPTHESTORM

Martinez could have “mailed

in” his remaining at bats, but instead

he went for the record.

Seven hits in 17 at bats later, his

final batting average was .384.

A new modern-day record.

Nobody had recorded a mark

that high in the PCL in over 70

years. To boot, no other player

in Minor League Baseball in 2015

had a better average or on-base

percentage than Jose Martinez.

Quite the turnaround for

someone who was on the outside

of Minor League Baseball

looking in the previous season.

But now Martinez has another

goal in mind: get to the Major

Leagues, just like his dad.

The Royals clearly think he is

capable, as evidenced by Martinez

being placed on the club’s

40-Man Roster this past offseason.

He’s overcome many

challenges already and proven he

belongs. One last hurdle remains.

And you can bet Jose Martinez

will keep pounding away at it.l

33


2016 STORM CHASERS STAFF

Martie

Cordaro

President &

General Manager

Laurie

Schlender

Assistant

General Manager

Andrea

Stava

Assistant GM

of Operations

Mark

Nasser

Director of

Broadcasting

Sean

Olson

Director

of Sales

Jason

Kinney

Corporate

Sales Executive

Dave

Endress

Director of

Business

Development

Kaci

Long

Client Services

Manager

Keri

Feyerherm

Office

Manager

Donna

Kostal

Front Office

Assistant

Rob

Sternberg

Director of

Marketing &

Communications

Zach

Daw

Ticket

Operations

Manager

Adam Andrew

McLaughlin Green

Social Media & Media Relations

Creative Manager & Website

Manager

Matt

Owen

Ballpark

Operations

Manager

Megan

Burdek

Community

Relations

Manager

Cody

Allen

Multimedia

Sales Executive

Ryan

Worthen

Senior Group

Sales Executive

Matthew

Thompson

Corporate

Sales Executive

Alex

Jerden

Group Sales

Executive

Lauren

Teer

Group Sales

Executive

Brandon

Simmons

Group Sales

Executive

Andy

Baker

Ticket

Sales Executive

Michelle

Badley

Ticket

Operations

Assistant

Shawn

Fitzpatrick

Special Events

Coordinator

Taylor

Edmonds

Mascot

Coordinator

Noah

Diercks

Head

Groundskeeper

Scott

Rowedder

Assistant

Groundskeeper

34

Julie

Jenkins

Seasonal

Associate

Gad

Azulay

Seasonal

Associate

Kory

Foster

Seasonal

Associate

Jason

Full

Seasonal

Associate

Jordan

King

Seasonal

Associate

John

Marsh

Seasonal

Associate


#STIRUPTHESTORM

2016 STORM CHASERS STAFF

FAVORITE MEMORY:

WORKING IN OR WATCHING BASEBALL?

Martie Cordaro:

Going to my first Cubs game in 1985 when they

played the Cardinals.

Andrew Green:

Attending Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS when Livan

Hernandez struck out a record 15 batters!

Alex Jerden:

Magglio Ordonez hitting the walk off home run

to send the Tigers to the 2006 World Series.

Megan Burdek:

Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series!

Ryan Worthen:

Watching Ken Griffey Jr.!

Dave Endress:

Kirk Gibson’s Walk-off Home Run in the 1988

World Series.

Kaci Long:

Taking my dad to Game 1 of the 2014

World Series!

Matt Owen:

Being the PA Announcer for a Storm Chasers

Playoff game in 2013.

Andrea Stava:

Managing the First National Bank 2015

Triple-A All-Star Game!

Rob Sternberg:

Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series!

Mark Nasser:

Storm Chasers celebrations!

Zach Daw:

Meeting George Brett while

working a ticket window in GA.

Brandon Simmons:

Being at Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS.

35


Sports

Medicine

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An athletic trainer turned pediatrician with

degrees in medicine and orthopaedic

surgery, Dr. Moffatt offers unique expertise.

He’s a Fellow in the American College of

Sports Medicine and helps shape sports

medicine policy as an advisor to the

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Some kids live them.

WE GET THAT — AND IF AN INJURY HAPPENS, WE’LL

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generations of families put their trust in us. It’s a tradition that’s made an

impact on the health of Omaha today, and what drives us to advance our

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©2016 Methodist Health System


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UPCOMING OPPONENTS

April 7-10 | 7:05 PM, 7:05 PM, 2:05 PM, 2:05 PM

Affiliation: Miami Marlins (Since 2009), New York Mets

(2007-08), Washington Nationals (2005-06), Houston

Astros (1997-2004)

Years in the PCL: 1998-Present

Omaha Record vs. New Orleans in 2015:

4-4 at Werner Park

Marlins Prospects to Watch by Rank:

RHP Ryan Barraclough (#12), RHP Jake Esch (#13), RHP

Austin Brice (#14), C Tomas Telis (#18)

April 11-14 | 6:35 PM, 11:05 AM, 6:35 PM, 6:35 PM

Affiliation: Texas Rangers (Since 2011), Houston Astros

(2005-10)

Years in the PCL: 2005-Present

Omaha Record vs. Round Rock in 2015:

5-3 at Werner Park

Rangers Prospects to Watch by Rank:

3B/OF Joey Gallo (#1), OF Lewis Brinson (#2), OF

Nomar Mazara (#3), RHP Luke Jackson (#13), INF/OF

Patrick Kivlehan (#25)

April 23-26 | 7:05 PM, 2:05 PM, 6:35 PM, 6:35 PM

Affiliation: Milwaukee Brewers (Since 2015), Colorado

Rockies (1993-2014), Cleveland Indians (1988-92)

Years in the PCL: 1988-Present

Omaha Record vs. Round Rock in 2015:

4-4 at Werner Park

Brewers Prospects to Watch by Rank:

INF Orlando Arcia (#1), P Jorge Lopez (#2), OF Brett

Phillips (#4), LHP Josh Hader (#11), OF Michael Reed

(#17), RHP Tyler Wagner (#19), RHP Adrian Houser (#20)

April 28-May 1 | 6:35 PM, 7:05 PM, 7:05 PM, 2:05 PM

Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers (Since 2015), Houston

Astros (2011-14), Texas Rangers (1983-10)

Years in the PCL: 1963-68, 1998-Present

Omaha Record vs. Round Rock in 2015:

6-3 at Werner Park

Brewers Prospects to Watch by Rank:

LHP Julio Urias (#2), RHP Jose De Leon (#3), RHP

Jacob Rhame (#20), RHP Chris Anderson (#21), RHP

Ross Stripling (#23), C Kyle Farmer (#29)

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 42


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RETIRED JERSEYS

OMAHA ROYALS/STORM CHASERS

See the retired jerseys between Sec. 101-105

5 10 20 23

5

GEORGE BRETT (1973-93)

George Brett is the only Royals player to be

inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame

and was the 1980 American League Most Valuable

Player. He was named to 13 MLB All-Star Games in

his 21-year career, and is the all-time Royals

leader in virtually every offensive category. Brett

was named Royals Player of the Year eight different

times. Brett played for Omaha in 1973-74.

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 45


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OMAHA STORM CHASERS

48

ERIC HOSMER AND MIKE

MOUSTAKAS SHARE A HUG

AFTER WINNING THE 2015

WORLD SERIES. HOSMER AND

MOUSTAKAS PLAYED IN OMAHA

DURING THE 2011 AND 2014 SEASONS.

FROM

OMAHA

TO

WORLD

SERIES

CHAMPS

BY ANDREW GREEN

USA TODAY PHOTO

OMAHA STORM CHASERS

CHASERS GAMEDAY |


One of the biggest draws

of Minor League Baseball

is that fans can see the

future before it happens.

They see stars develop and then

blossom right before their eyes

on the field before moving on to

the glitz and glamour of the Major

Leagues. Learning the players and

then following them on their journey

in “The Bigs” creates a connection.

The players, meanwhile, are

growing in their knowledge and

skill of the game, and especially

fine tuning the minute details in

the case of Omaha. Storm Chasers

alums, however, learned one more

thing at Werner Park- how to win.

14 members on the roster of

the 2015 World Series Champion

Kansas City Royals honed all of

those attributes at Werner Park.

Many already owned at least one

Pacific Coast League Championship

ring, some even adding

Triple-A National Championship

hardware. All were able to not only

compete on the biggest stage

in baseball, but be successful in

helping lead the Royals to their

first World Series title in 30 years.

Just some examples:

• Before he was the 2015 World

Series Most Valuable Player,

catcher Salvador Perez was crushing

grand slams and recording

five-hit games at Werner Park.

• Prior to coming through in

the clutch with a series-winning

hit in extra innings,

Christian Colon won Back-to-

Back Triple-A National Championships

with the Storm Chasers.

• Before his famous game-tying

scamper home in Game 5, Eric

Hosmer was crossing the plate in

Omaha.

Valuable Player award, swiped

bases for the Storm Chasers before

nabbing four bags in the

World Series for the Royals.

• Alex Gordon just two months

prior to his clutch ninth inning

game-tying Game 1 homer was

slamming longballs at Werner

Park as part of a rehab assignment.

All 14 players served a purpose

for the Royals in the Fall

Classic, and shined throughout

the entire postseason, showcasing

that “never say die” attitude

that propelled the club to so many

come-from-behind victories.

And much of that can be traced

back just three hours up the road

from Kaufmann Stadium in Omaha.

As Kansas City celebrated their

second World Series title, Omaha

residents could join in knowing

they had seen the future.

And now whenever fans visit

Werner Park, they will see

the location of where part of

the foundation of a World Series

Championship was built.

There is still intrigue, however,

in that many of the same

players remain with the Royals.

A squad that has not only

won the World Series but appeared

in the Fall Classic each

of the last two seasons retains a

core group with lofty ambitions.

Storm Chasers fans will also continue

to see players come through

attempting to help recreate the

magic that was the 2015 season.

The next Most Valuable Player finalist,

World Series Most Valuable

Player, All-Star, or Gold Glove

Award Winner could very well be

on the field on any summer night.

• Lorenzo Cain, the runner-up

for the American League’s Most

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 49


JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016

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Pick up free local and statewide brochures, maps, event information

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(NEED STORY!)

#STIRUPTHESTORM

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 51


STORM CHASERS OWNERS

Gary Green - CEO

Gary Green is CEO and managing owner of the Omaha Storm

Chasers. Alliance Baseball LLC purchased the Storm Chasers in

2012, their second MiLB franchise (Richmond). In 2009, Green

entered the sports industry as Alliance Building Services created

and executed the maintenance manifest for the inaugural seasons

at Yankees Stadium (New York Yankees) and Citi Field (New York

Mets). Later that year, Green pursued his lifelong dream of owning

a baseball team by joining forces with Larry Botel to form Alliance

Baseball LLC. After the creation of the ownership group, Alliance

Baseball negotiated to buy a large stake in the Giants Double-A affiliate, the Connecticut

Defenders. Green and Botel purchased their stake with the full intent of moving the team to

Richmond, Va., and helped rename and restructure the team into the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Green is the CEO of Alliance Building Services, a company he founded in 1992 at the

age of 26. Through Green’s leadership, Alliance has grown into one of the largest privately

held building service companies in North America. Green received his B.A. in Political Science

from the University of Vermont in 1988 and his M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from

New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business in 1991.

Larry Botel

Larry Botel is the co-founding partner and President of Alliance

Baseball LLC. Through Alliance Baseball LLC, Botel is a Managing

Partner of the Omaha Storm Chasers and a General Partner of the

Richmond Flying Squirrels. Botel is the founding partner of JOSS

Realty Partners, a New York City based Real Estate Investment

Management firm. JOSS Realty Partners has acquired 17 office

buildings totaling over 3 million square feet with a value of more

than $700 million. His experience in financing and structuring

complex deals have enabled him to approach partnering with Green in Alliance Baseball

with a level of expertise and experience not often found in the baseball business. Larry

received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1993 and

B.S.B.A from Georgetown University in 1988.

Brian Callaghan

Brian Callaghan is an investor and entrepreneur from Richmond,

VA. He is co-founder of Apex Systems, the 2nd largest IT staffing

firm in the U.S., and sits on the board of On Assignment (NYSE:

ASGN), one of the world’s largest professional staffing companies.

Brian is also an owner of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants

Double-A), in addition to the Storm Chasers. Raised in NJ and

Virginia, he is a 1993 graduate of Virginia Tech. He resides in Richmond

with his wife and 4 children.

52

Eric Foss

Eric Foss is Chairman, President and CEO of Aramark (NYSE:

ARMK), a $15 billion global provider of food, facilities and uniform

services with 270,000 employees in 22 countries. He joined Aramark

in 2012 and led the company’s successful return to the New

York Stock Exchange in December 2013. Before Aramark, Foss

enjoyed a 30-year career with Pepsi, where he served as Chairman

and CEO of Pepsi Bottling Group and CEO of PepsiCo’s Pepsi

Beverages Company. Foss visited Werner Park in 2011 during its


STORM CHASERS OWNERS

inaugural season due to Pepsi’s role as a premier partner. He was so impressed by the park,

the team and the management staff, that when the opportunity of investing in the team

was presented to him, he became part of the ownership group.

Stephen Alepa

Stephen Alepa began his baseball career in 1972 as a six-yearold

first baseman with Ideal Petroleum. Inspired by Cookie Rojas

to become a top flight bespectacled middle infielder, he kicked

around the little leagues for a number of years until latching on

with the Park Ridge High School Fighting Owls as a rag-armed,

slap-hitting shortstop. He batted .531 and, by far, led the team in

errors his senior year. While Alepa still plays baseball, he realized

he could pursue his love of the game in other ways. As a manager,

he went along for the ride with his son’s 2013 and 2014 Little

League Championship’s. At the same time, Alepa joined the Storm Chasers as a general

partner just before the Back-to-Back Triple-A Championship run. In his spare time, Alepa

currently is CEO of a boutique financial markets consultancy and has been a Partner at

Arthur Andersen, a software executive, and a Wall Street trading executive. He is married

with three children and is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Peter Huff

Peter Huff has over 20 years of experience in the private equity

industry and has been a partner in several private equity funds

raised by Blue Sage Capital, Austin Ventures and J. H. Whitney.

Huff received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist

University in Dallas, where he graduated first in his class, was

President of the Student Center Governing Board and earned

First-Team Academic All-American honors in track and field. Peter

has won four medals, including one gold medal, at the USA Track

and Field Masters Outdoor National Championships and carried

the torch for the 2002 Olympic Games.

Evan Friend

Evan Friend is a retired physician epidemiologist and baseball

fanatic from southern California where he currently resides with

his wife and two sons. Originally from New Jersey, he attended

medical school at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson and did undergraduate

and graduate work at Johns Hopkins University and

the University of North Carolina, respectively. Evan joined the

ownership group in March of 2014.

Alan Stein

Alan Stein has been around MiLB a long time. He was founder and

President of the Lexington Legends (Single-A). With his partners,

he acquired the SW Michigan Devil Rays (Single-A) and the Omaha

Royals (Triple-A) in 2005. Along with Martie Cordaro, Stein engineered

the building of Werner Park and the transition from Royals

to Storm Chasers. He has been inducted into seven Hall of Fames,

including the South Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, and

has been selected as the National Baseball Executive of the Year,

Sarpy County Business Leader of the Year and Bluegrass Business

Hall of Fame Laureate, amongst many others.

53


2016 celebrates 5 years of Werner Park

BY CODY ALLEN

54

OMAHA STORM CHASERS


ON

Wednesday,

August 12, 2009

the first dig of

dirt for a new

Triple-A baseball

stadium occurred in Papillion, Nebraska.

What began as a chance

encounter between Sarpy County

Administrator Mark Wayne and

Omaha Royals President Alan

Stein at the Memphis Airport in

2008 ended with a new home for

Omaha baseball. Although the

ballpark would not hold its first

event until 2011, more changes

were to come for the Kansas City

Royals Triple-A affiliate: a new name

in a new era of Omaha baseball.

More than a year after breaking

ground, the “Sarpy County Baseball

ballpark” was finally given the

name of Werner Park, with naming

rights granted to Werner Enterprises.

With a new ballpark named, the

next step was for the Omaha Royals

to establish an identity if their own.

In the end, the team name was

one of more than 1,500 submissions

by fans during a two-month

long “name-the-team” contest.

It would be the Omaha Storm

Chasers that would play their

inaugural season in the newly-named

Werner Park in Sarpy Co..

However, when the sun began to

rise over Werner Park on April 15, it

was blocked by storm clouds and

rain. And even though it may have

been rather fitting for the Storm

Chasers to play their first home

game in heavy rain and strong

winds, the game was postponed until

the next day. Twenty-four hours

later it proved well worth the wait.

The large crowd of 6,533 fans

were treated to clear skies and a

night full Omaha baseball history.

The pregame ceremony included

a Hall of Fame worthy first

pitch with Kansas City Royals

Hall of Famer George Brett firing

a strike to Omaha-native Bob

Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Minutes later it was 22 yearold

Danny Duffy who threw a

#STIRUPTHESTORM

strike of his own for the first

official pitch at Werner Park.

The night of firsts continued

with David Lough recording the

first hit, Eric Hosmer scoring the

first run and Louis Coleman striking

out the side for Werner Park’s

first save to cap the Omaha Storm

Chasers first ever home victory.

Throughout the first five seasons

of Storm Chasers baseball at

Werner Park, fans have seen

countless moments that have all

added to the ballpark’s prominence

in Omaha. Along with opening

night, 2011 also saw Mike Jirshele

earn his 1,000th career win

as a manager and Kila Ka’aiuhie

hitting a walk-off home run to

send the Storm Chasers to their

first PCL championship series.

In 2012, Jarrod Dyson finished

the longest game in park history

with a walk-off double plus

the Storm Chasers welcomed

Alliance Baseball and CEO Gary

Green as their new owners.

The Omaha Storm Chasers won

their first Triple-A National Championship

in 2013, then repeated

as champions in 2014. And just

last year in 2015, Werner Park witnessed

the First National Bank 2015

Triple-A All-Star Game, Alex Gordon

hitting his first home run as a

Storm Chaser, Dusty Coleman making

SportsCenter Top 10 and Jose

Martinez setting the modern-day

PCL batting average record at .384.

Needless to say Werner Park has

been through a lot over the past

six years and even more over the

last nine. From a chance encounter

at a Memphis airport to one of the

premier ballparks in Minor League

Baseball. And even though nobody

could have predicted at the time

that first scoop of dirt was taken for

the “Sarpy County Baseball ballpark”

project would have turned

into the Werner Park as we know

today, it is safe to say that Werner

Park will continue to produce

wondrous memories in this championship

era of Omaha baseball.

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 55


JENNIFER

ZEPPELIN

MATT

MONROE

JOHN

WALSH

RYAN

MCPIKE

JIM

FLOWERS

Official Partner of the Storm Chasers Hit The Books Program


AMERICAN

LEAGUE

CENTRAL

TOP 10

PROSPECTS

KANSAS CITY

ROYALS

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

General manager: Dayton Moore.

Farm director: Ronnie Richardson.

Scouting director: Lonnie Goldberg.

FARM SYSTEM

Classification Affiliate W L

Triple-A Omaha 80 64

Double-A NW Arkansas 69 70

High Class A Wilmington 62 77

Low Class A Lexington 58 80

Rookie Idaho Falls 38 38

Rookie AZL Royals 40 16

OVERALL 2015 RECORD 347 345

BEST TOOLS

Best Hitter for Average

Jose Martinez

Best Power Hitter

Ryan O’Hearn

Best Strike-Zone Discipline

Whit Merrifield

Fastest Baserunner

Terrance Gore

Best Athlete

Bubba Starling

Best Fastball

Josh Staumont

Best Curveball

Kyle Zimmer

Best Slider

Ashe Russell

Best Changeup

Miguel Almonte

Best Control

Alec Mills

Best Defensive Catcher

Cam Gallagher

Best Defensive Infielder

Raul A. Mondesi

Best Infield Arm

Raul A. Mondesi

Best Defensive Outfielder

Bubba Starling

Best Outfield Arm

Brett Eibner

PROJECTED 2019 LINEUP

Catcher

Salvador Perez

First Base

Eric Hosmer

Second Base

Raul A. Mondesi

Third Base

Mike Moustakas

Shortstop

Alcides Escobar

Left Field

Lorenzo Cain

Center Field

Bubba Starling

Right Field

Jorge Bonifacio

Designated Hitter

Cheslor Cuthbert

No. 1 Starter

Yordano Ventura

No. 2 Starter

Kyle Zimmer

No. 3 Starter

Miguel Almonte

No. 4 Starter

Nolan Watson

No. 5 Starter

Ashe Russell

Closer

Wade Davis

TOP PROSPECTS OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Pos. 2015 Org

2006 Alex Gordon, 3b Royals

2007 Alex Gordon, 3b Royals

2008 Mike Moustakas, 3b Royals

2009 Mike Moustakas, 3b Royals

2010 Mike Montgomery, lhp Mariners

2011 Eric Hosmer, 1b Royals

2012 Mike Montgomery, lhp Mariners

2013 Kyle Zimmer, rhp Royals

2014 Kyle Zimmer, rhp Royals

2015 Raul A. Mondesi, ss Royals

TOP DRAFT PICKS OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Pos. 2015 Org

2006 Luke Hochevar, rhp Royals

2007 Mike Moustakas, 3b Royals

2008 Eric Hosmer, 1b Royals

2009 Aaron Crow, rhp Marlins

2010 Christian Colon, ss Royals

2011 Bubba Starling, of Royals

2012 Kyle Zimmer, rhp Royals

2013 Hunter Dozier, 3b Royals

2014 Brandon Finnegan, lhp Reds

2015 Ashe Russell, rhp Royals

LARGEST BONUSES IN CLUB HISTORY

Bubba Starling, 2011 $7,500,000

Eric Hosmer, 2008 $6,000,000

Alex Gordon, 2005 $4,000,000

Mike Moustakas, 2007 $4,000,000

Sean Manaea, 2013 $3,550,000

End justifies the means for Royals

BY J.J. COOPER

n the summer of 2011, Royals general manager

Dayton Moore and scouting director

ILonnie Goldberg were in a car riding back

from a meeting with their most recent firstrounder

Bubba Starling. As they drove away,

Moore described to Goldberg his dream: one

day he wanted to see kids walking down Kansas

City, Mo., streets wearing Bubba Starling jersey

T-shirts, Eric Hosmer jerseys and Royals caps.

He was dreaming of the day that the Royals

would capture the city, the area and the region

the way they had when Moore, born in Wichita,

was a kid.

Mission accomplished. An estimated 800,000

attended the Royals’ World Series victory parade

in November. Now, manager Ned Yost has gone

from giving a false name at Starbucks early in

his Royals career to avoid scrutiny to receiving

standing ovations the moment he walks into any

Kansas City-area restaurant.

“As we’re starting the parade, I look to my left

and there is a row of kids . . . and they are wearing

different Royals T-shirts,” Goldberg said.

“There’s a (Lorenzo) Cain, a Hosmer, a Salvy

A prolonged World Series celebration for Royals

(Perez) . . . That was really cool.”

fans means that planning for tomorrow can wait

Kansas City hats have begun popping up all

over the nation, and this next sentence might

seem even crazier: the Royals have become the wins in 2015. It’s a trip to Game Seven of the

best team in baseball.

2014 World Series. It’s a team that has averaged

It’s not just their World Series win. It’s 95 90 wins per season since 2013, the most in the

MIKE JANES

FROM THE PAGES OF BASEBALL AMERICA ...

NO. 1

PROS

PECT

TOMASS DEROSA

RAUL A. MONDESI, SS

BORN: July 27, 1995. B-T: B-R. HT.: 6-1. WT.: 185.

SIGNED: Dominican Republic, 2011.

SIGNED BY: Edis Perez.

BACKGROUND: Mondesi has a long way

to go to match the big league career of his

father Raul Mondesi Sr., who made his only

All-Star Game appearance the summer when

his son was born, but the son has some bragging

rights. While dad never played in the

World Series, Raul Adalberto experienced the

postseason without ever playing in the majors

in 2015. With the pregnant wife of starting

second baseman Ben Zobrist due to possibly

deliver during the World Series, the Royals

added Mondesi to the roster, envisioning him

as a pinch-runner or early-innings pinch-hitter

in games at New York’s Citi Field. Zobrist never

left the team, and Mondesi went just 0-for-1 as

a pinch-hitter, making him the only player to

make his big league debut in the World Series.

Mondesi has been on a fast track ever since

he signed for $2 million in 2011. He has been

one of the youngest players in every league

in which he’s played. The Royals have had few

worries that the advanced assignments would

harm Mondesi’s development because he’s

supremely confident, but at the same time his

speedy development schedule has kept him

from ever getting a chance to get comfortable

and dominate a level.

SCOUTING REPORT: Mondesi’s tools are

exceptional, but he has yet to put together

the consistent stretches that show the skills

to match. An average runner when he signed,

Mondesi has gotten stronger and faster and

is now is a double-plus runner who will turn

in top-of-the-scale times. At shortstop he

is a potential double-plus defender with an

equally impressive 70-grade arm. The Royals

asked him to play second base sporadically

at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2015 to

American League.

The Royals said they were going to build

through player development. And though it took

seven years from Moore’s first full draft in 2007

until the club’s first playoff appearance, that’s

exactly what they did, helped by a few trades and

free-agent signings.

Now comes the hard part. The Royals know

they have to plug the free-agent holes left by

Johnny Cueto, Ben Zobrist and possibly Alex

Gordon on the fly. They will be doing so with

a thinner farm system that has been weakened

by trades that sent away lefthanders Cody Reed,

Sean Manaea and Brandon Finnegan, a trio that

would rank Nos. 2 through 4 on this ranking.

The deals for Cueto and Zobrist thinned the

system, so Kansas City’s success in 2015 will cost

the franchise a little going forward.

That’s not to say that the Royals’ window is yet

closed. Even with the free agent losses, Kansas

City brings back the core of the 2015 champs.

Even if the Royals don’t win 95 games again,

they should be in the thick of the 2016 playoff

hunt, especially if Moore and his front office

again succeed in finding free-agent bargains.

Kansas City’s window with this core will close

after the 2017 season. At that point, center

fielder Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas,

shortstop Alcides Escobar, first baseman Hosmer

and closer Wade Davis will reach free agency at

the same time. But for now, the Royals and their

fans are too busy enjoying the parade.

SCOUTING GRADES

BATTING: 55. DEFENSE: 70.

POWER: 45.

ARM: 70.

SPEED: 60.

Based on 20-80 scouting scale—where 50

represents major league average—and

future projection rather than present tools.

give him versatility. He handled the move

with no issues. The switch-hitting Mondesi is

much less consistent at the plate. When he’s

locked in, he can lay down a bunt for a hit or

crush a home run, but he struggles to put

together a consistent approach. He is much

too aggressive, struggling to accept that a

walk is a positive outcome. Few players are

harder for scouts to evaluate than Mondesi,

because they have to decide how much of his

plate discipline issues come from his aggressive

promotions (he was four years younger

than the average Texas Leaguer in 2015) and

how much of it is an approach problem that

isn’t going away. Mondesi’s speed and bat

speed should give him at least an average

hit tool, and he has surprising power for

a shortstop, but his plate discipline has to

improve. Mondesi missed time in 2015 with

a back injury that could best be described as

tightness. He worked on stretching exercises,

but it is something he’ll have to work to keep

from becoming a significant long-term issue.

THE FUTURE: Kansas City shortstop

Alcides Escobar has two years left before

he reaches free agency. That makes it likely

that Mondesi will break into Kansas City at

second base, though he should still be the

team’s shortstop of the future after time at

Triple-A Omaha in 2016. If he can become

more selective, Mondesi has a higher upside

than Escobar because he has more power and

similar defensive chops—but he still has a lot

of work to do to reach that ceiling.

18

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BORN: Sept. 13, 1991. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-3.

WT.: 228. DRAFTED: San Francisco, 2012 (1st

round). SIGNED BY: Max Valencia.

BACKGROUND: The older brother of Indians

outfield prospect Bradley Zimmer, Kyle is a

late-bloomer as a pitcher who moved to the

mound in college. Since being selected fifth

overall in 2012, his career has been most

notable for injuries. He had hamstring issues

and surgery for bone chips in his elbow in

2012, a tight shoulder in 2013 and shoulder

problems in 2014 that led to offseason labrum

cleanup and a late start to 2015.

SCOUTING REPORT: Zimmer’s stuff took a

slight step back in 2015, but it still profiles him

for the front of a rotation. He sat 92-94 mph as a starter and can bump 97 more consistently

in relief. He locates his fastball well both arm side and glove side and keeps the ball down in

the zone. Zimmer’s curveball still is a double-plus pitch. He showed reduced feel for it in 2015,

but it got more consistent as the season progressed. His fringe-average changeup and slider

always have been lesser offerings, and they took a step back in 2015 when he used them less

frequently in the bullpen. Both have flashed average in the past.

THE FUTURE: Few minor league pitchers can match Zimmer’s raw stuff, but he never has

thrown even 130 innings in a season, dating back to college. If healthy, he should pitch in

Kansas City in 2016, but he has to prove he can handle a major league workload.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 1 0 1.13 9 0 0 0 16 11 1 6 21 .190

NW Arkansas (AA) 2 5 2.81 15 7 0 3 48 42 4 14 51 .235

2. KYLE

ZIMMER, RHP

BORN: Aug. 3, 1992. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-4. WT.:

210. DRAFTED: HS—Gardner, Kan., 2011

(1st round). SIGNED BY: Blake Davis.

BACKGROUND: Starling was supposed to be

a centerpiece of the Royals’ rebuilding project.

Selected fifth overall in 2011, the high school

three-sport star turned down Nebraska football

to sign with the Royals for a club-record

$7.5 million, then struggled for much of his pro

career under the weight of lofty expectations.

SCOUTING REPORT: Too often in the past,

Starling had too many at-bats where he looked

lost. He chased too many pitches but also failed

to take advantage of hitter’s counts. He still has

rough stretches, but he does a better job of

recognizing breaking pitches and driving balls, and he turned in the best strikeout rate of his

career (25 percent) at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2015. Starling’s hit tool will probably

always be below-average, but he can be a very useful big leaguer as a .240 hitter with at least

average power, because he’s a plus defender who makes it look easy in center field with a plus

arm. He is an above-average runner out of the box who is faster underway.

THE FUTURE: Starling’s high strikeout rate makes it unlikely that he ever will be an impact

big leaguer, but the Royals value rangy outfielders who can throw, which will play in his favor.

Added to the 40-man roster in November, he faces a probable 2016 callup to Kansas City if he

keeps pace at Triple-A Omaha.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB

Wilmington (Hi A) .386 .471 .614 44 6 17 4 0 2 12 7 17 2

NW Arkansas (AA) .254 .318 .426 331 51 84 19 4 10 32 30 91 4

3. BUBBA

STARLING, OF

BORN: April 4, 1993. B-T: R-R.

WT.: 210. SIGNED: Dominican

2010. SIGNED BY: Fausto Morel/Alv

BACKGROUND: Almonte took a big

ward in 2015 and made it to the b

as a reliever as a September callup. H

poorly in Kansas City thanks to an

teristic home run problem—all si

allowed were allowed on four home

SCOUTING REPORT: His brutal M

notwithstanding, Almonte has big

gives him a chance to succeed w

control and command. He carried

mph velocity throughout his min

starts, and even if his fastball grade

it’s actually his second-best offering behind his double-plus changeup. The Roy

Almonte to shelve his changeup at times to focus on improving his curveball, and

was successful. Almonte did a better job of staying on top of the pitch in 2015, whic

for more downward action and sharp bite. It flashed plus at best and was average on

basis. His control is average but his command is below-average, though his delive

have any glaring issues.

THE FUTURE: Almonte isn’t a finished product, but he has the stuff to be a mi

starter. He should return to Triple-A Omaha in 2016 for additional polish.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB S

NW Arkansas (AA) 4 4 4.03 17 17 0 0 67 65 4 27

Omaha (AAA) 2 2 5.40 11 6 0 0 37 33 3 15

Kansas City (MLB) 0 2 6.23 9 0 0 0 9 7 4 7

BORN: Jan. 25, 1997. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-2.

WT.: 195. DRAFTED: HS—Indianapolis,

2015 (1st round). SIGNED BY: Mike Farrell.

BACKGROUND: For the second straight

year, the Royals used their first two picks on

high school pitchers. Both times Kansas City

paired a riskier, higher-ceiling arm with a more

polished strike-thrower. The 2015 duo—the

more-polished Watson and the harder-throwing

Ashe Russell—played down the road from

each other in Indianapolis. Watson’s stock rose

significantly once the Vanderbilt commit’s fastball

jumped from 86-88 mph in the summer

of 2014 to the 90-93 he showed before the

2015 draft.

SCOUTING REPORT: Watson is an advanced pitcher for his age who repeats his delivery and

has a present plus fastball. He touched 95 mph in his pro debut at Rookie-level Burlington,

and some scouts think he’ll settle at 92-95 mph. His fastball is a power sinker that lives in the

bottom of the zone. The Royals asked Watson to limit the use of his potentially above-average

slider in favor of a curveball. Watson took to the new pitch quickly, and he could develop a

low-80s, power curve in time. His changeup took off in instructional league when he threw

it regularly.

THE FUTURE: Watson has a chance to have three average or better pitches and at least average

control, giving him a shot of being a future No. 3 starter. The Royals may hold him back

from low Class A Lexington until May, but he’s ready for full-season ball in 2016.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Burlington (R) 0 3 4.91 11 11 0 0 29 39 2 11 16 .320

5. NOLAN

WATSON, RHP

4. MIGUEL

ALMONTE, RHP

BORN: May 24, 1997. B-T: B-R.

WT.: 165. SIGNED: Italy, 2013. SIG

Nick Leto.

BACKGROUND: Gasparini has stood

age 13 and has a chance to develo

best player born and raised in Italy.

for a European-record $1.3 million

July 2013. His 2014 debut was s

a hamstring injury, and he starte

2015, but he hit .357/.448/.529 wit

improved strikeout rate in the seco

Rookie-level Idaho Falls.

SCOUTING REPORT: Gasparini has

of exceptional tools that started t

2015. He’s a plus runner with a plus

he is starting to tap into potentially average power. He faces questions about wheth

stick at shortstop, however. He made 35 errors in 52 games in 2015, and his .871 fie

centage was the worst among Pioneer League shortstops. Gasparini’s speed and a

play well in center field if he can’t clean up his defensive issues, but considering his

relative inexperience, the Royals will work to better his defense. The switch-hitting

shows similar aptitude from either batter’s box. His inexperience shows when re

breaking balls, but he has gap power now that should develop into double-digit h

THE FUTURE: Gasparini’s bat is ready for an assignment to low Class A Lexingto

when he turns 19, which means his glove will have to hurry to catch up. In terms of a

tools, he ranks second only to Raul A. Mondesi in the system.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB

Idaho Falls (R) .259 .341 .411 197 36 51 4 10 2 25 25

7. MARTEN

GASPARINI, SS

BORN: Aug. 28, 1996. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-4.

WT.: 201. DRAFTED: HS—Indianapolis,

2015 (1st round). SIGNED BY: Mike Farrell.

BACKGROUND: Russell was long considered

one of the best arms in the 2015 high school

draft class thanks to an excellent fastball/

slider combination. His lightning-quick arm

and the excellent boring action of his fastball

impressed scouts. They also knew that the

team drafting Russell would have to live with

a flawed delivery.

SCOUTING REPORT: Russell has a darting

92-94 mph fastball that will touch 97, and

his slider already flashes plus. But with an

up-tempo delivery with length in his takeaway

and a stabbing arm action, Russell’s control and quality of stuff tends to vary. When he

separates his hands too late, his upper body will struggle to catch his lower half. When that

happens, he loses direction to the plate, his breaking ball flattens out and his fastball misses

up in the zone. The Royals asked Russell to work on a curveball and use his slider less. His

curve is a little sweepy now, which is partly due to his lower arm slot. His changeup is barely

even a pitch right now because the Royals want him to focus on his delivery rather than

mastering a fourth pitch.

THE FUTURE: Russell has a front-line arm, but his timing issues made him hittable in his pro

debut at Rookie-level Burlington. He might not be ready to start at low Class A Lexington in

2016, though his performance in spring training will determine his assignment.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Burlington (R) 0 3 4.21 11 11 0 0 36 32 8 13 24 .235

6. ASHE

RUSSELL, RHP

BORN: Nov. 12, 1991. B-T: R-L. HT.: 6-4.

WT.: 180. DRAFTED: Neosho County (Kan.)

CC, 2012 (21st round). SIGNED BY: Casey Fahy.

BACKGROUND: When Strahm arrived at

Neosho County (Kan.) CC, he was an 82 mphthrowing

lefty out of West Fargo, N.D. As he

filled out his 6-foot-4 frame and cleaned up his

delivery, he added nearly 10 mph to his fastball

and turned into the ace of the Panthers’ staff.

SCOUTING REPORT: After Strahm missed

all of 2013 and much of 2014 recovering from

Tommy John surgery, the Royals wanted to

take things slow with the southpaw in 2015—

but it started out a little too slow. Stretched to

be ready for 60-pitch outings, Strahm threw

just seven relief innings at low Class A Lexington in April. By late June, he had pitched his way

into the rotation. His fastball sits at 89-94 mph with an easy, deceptive delivery and average

control. His slider locks batters up when he’s staying back in his delivery. At other times it

becomes a slurvier 78-82 mph offering with 2-to-8 break, more sweep and less depth than

the average slider. Even then, Strahm locates it well, and it’s deadly against lefties, who hit

just .143 against him in 2015. His changeup is a fringy third offering he doesn’t use much.

THE FUTURE: The Royals added to Strahm to the 40-man roster in November, and he will

head to Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2016. He has a shot at being a No. 4 starter, but he

should make his debut first as a reliever, which could happen in 2016.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 2 1 2.08 14 0 0 4 26 12 1 12 38 .140

Wilmington (Hi A) 1 6 2.78 15 11 0 1 68 48 7 19 83 .194

8. MATT

STRAHM, LHP

BORN: April 10, 1996. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-6.

WT.: 210. DRAFTED: HS—Baldwinsville,

N.Y., 2014 (2nd round). SIGNED BY: Bobby

Gandolfo.

BACKGROUND: Blewett became the first

New York high school righthander to go in the

top two rounds of the draft since Jason Marquis

in 1996. Midway through 2015, he looked like

he was going to pitch his way to high Class A

Wilmington. Held in extended spring training

until late May, Blewett blitzed low Class A

South Atlantic League hitters in his first eight

starts, but as the summer wore on, he labored

through August and his ERA nearly doubled.

SCOUTING REPORT: Early on in 2015,

Blewett filled the strike zone with a 92-95 mph fastball. He was aggressive in the zone, unlike

many young pitchers who like to nibble on the edges. His 12-to-6 curveball also is a potentially

above-average pitch that he can command. As Blewett wore down, his fastball backed

up, his control wavered and his curve lacked the same depth. He still flashed 95 mph once in

a while, but he was sitting in the low 90s and his fastball lacked the same crispness. Blewett

flashes a fringe-average changeup, but he doesn’t show any confidence or conviction in it yet.

THE FUTURE: Blewett still shows the ingredients to be a mid-rotation starter. He has an

excellent frame, a plus fastball and an above-average curveball. He learned in his full-season

debut that he’ll need more stamina to hold up to the rigors of a pro workload. Blewett might

not move to Wilmington immediately in 2016, but he should get there before long.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 3 5 5.20 18 18 0 0 81 88 6 24 60 .272

9. SCOTT

BLEWETT, RHP

BORN: Nov. 16, 1992. B-T: R-R.

WT.: 205. SIGNED: Nicaragu

SIGNED BY: Juan Lopez/Orlando Es

BACKGROUND: When the Roya

him up on July 7, Cuthbert be

14th Nicaragua-born player to reac

leagues. He is the first from Corn Isla

of islands, in fact, located 50 miles of

of Nicaragua that are inhabited by f

10,000 people. Cuthbert’s callup cost

to the Futures Game. Instead, he hit

each half of a Royals doubleheader.

SCOUTING REPORT: Cuthbert

young for every league in which he

and he reached the big leagues at a

tools are solid, but he impressed the Royals’ big league staff more with his steadines

he hasn’t shown more than fringe-average power, he adheres to the organization

phy of putting the ball in play consistently. Cuthbert battles at the plate and shou

as a .270 hitter with solid on-base skills. He’s an average defender at third base,

thick lower half, thanks to surprising agility and an accurate, average arm. Scouts

thought Cuthbert would migrate to first base, but he has kept himself in good shap

THE FUTURE: Cuthbert isn’t going to push Mike Moustakas aside at third base, b

shown enough that the Royals are comfortable with him serving as a ready backup

Omaha as injury insurance.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB

Omaha (AAA) .277 .339 421 397 55 110 22 1 11 51 37

Kansas City (MLB) .217 .280 .370 46 6 10 2 1 1 8 4

10. CHESLOR

CUTHBERT, 3B/1B

BILL MITCHELL

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AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL TOP 10 PROSPECTS

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January 15–29, 2016 BaseballAmerica.com 19

BORN: Sept. 13, 1991. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-3.

WT.: 228. DRAFTED: San Francisco, 2012 (1st

round). SIGNED BY: Max Valencia.

BACKGROUND: The older brother of Indians

outfield prospect Bradley Zimmer, Kyle is a

late-bloomer as a pitcher who moved to the

mound in college. Since being selected fifth

overall in 2012, his career has been most

notable for injuries. He had hamstring issues

and surgery for bone chips in his elbow in

2012, a tight shoulder in 2013 and shoulder

problems in 2014 that led to offseason labrum

cleanup and a late start to 2015.

SCOUTING REPORT: Zimmer’s stuff took a

slight step back in 2015, but it still profiles him

for the front of a rotation. He sat 92-94 mph as a starter and can bump 97 more consistently

in relief. He locates his fastball well both arm side and glove side and keeps the ball down in

the zone. Zimmer’s curveball still is a double-plus pitch. He showed reduced feel for it in 2015,

but it got more consistent as the season progressed. His fringe-average changeup and slider

always have been lesser offerings, and they took a step back in 2015 when he used them less

frequently in the bullpen. Both have flashed average in the past.

THE FUTURE: Few minor league pitchers can match Zimmer’s raw stuff, but he never has

thrown even 130 innings in a season, dating back to college. If healthy, he should pitch in

Kansas City in 2016, but he has to prove he can handle a major league workload.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 1 0 1.13 9 0 0 0 16 11 1 6 21 .190

NW Arkansas (AA) 2 5 2.81 15 7 0 3 48 42 4 14 51 .235

2. KYLE

ZIMMER, RHP

BORN: Aug. 3, 1992. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-4. WT.:

210. DRAFTED: HS—Gardner, Kan., 2011

(1st round). SIGNED BY: Blake Davis.

BACKGROUND: Starling was supposed to be

a centerpiece of the Royals’ rebuilding project.

Selected fifth overall in 2011, the high school

three-sport star turned down Nebraska football

to sign with the Royals for a club-record

$7.5 million, then struggled for much of his pro

career under the weight of lofty expectations.

SCOUTING REPORT: Too often in the past,

Starling had too many at-bats where he looked

lost. He chased too many pitches but also failed

to take advantage of hitter’s counts. He still has

rough stretches, but he does a better job of

recognizing breaking pitches and driving balls, and he turned in the best strikeout rate of his

career (25 percent) at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2015. Starling’s hit tool will probably

always be below-average, but he can be a very useful big leaguer as a .240 hitter with at least

average power, because he’s a plus defender who makes it look easy in center field with a plus

arm. He is an above-average runner out of the box who is faster underway.

THE FUTURE: Starling’s high strikeout rate makes it unlikely that he ever will be an impact

big leaguer, but the Royals value rangy outfielders who can throw, which will play in his favor.

Added to the 40-man roster in November, he faces a probable 2016 callup to Kansas City if he

keeps pace at Triple-A Omaha.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB

Wilmington (Hi A) .386 .471 .614 44 6 17 4 0 2 12 7 17 2

NW Arkansas (AA) .254 .318 .426 331 51 84 19 4 10 32 30 91 4

3. BUBBA

STARLING, OF

BORN: April 4, 1993. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-2.

WT.: 210. SIGNED: Dominican Republic,

2010. SIGNED BY: Fausto Morel/Alvin Cuevas.

BACKGROUND: Almonte took a big step forward

in 2015 and made it to the big leagues

as a reliever as a September callup. He pitched

poorly in Kansas City thanks to an uncharacteristic

home run problem—all six runs he

allowed were allowed on four home runs.

SCOUTING REPORT: His brutal MLB debut

notwithstanding, Almonte has big stuff that

gives him a chance to succeed with fringy

control and command. He carried his 94-97

mph velocity throughout his minor league

starts, and even if his fastball grades as plus,

it’s actually his second-best offering behind his double-plus changeup. The Royals asked

Almonte to shelve his changeup at times to focus on improving his curveball, and the tactic

was successful. Almonte did a better job of staying on top of the pitch in 2015, which allowed

for more downward action and sharp bite. It flashed plus at best and was average on a regular

basis. His control is average but his command is below-average, though his delivery doesn’t

have any glaring issues.

THE FUTURE: Almonte isn’t a finished product, but he has the stuff to be a mid-rotation

starter. He should return to Triple-A Omaha in 2016 for additional polish.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

NW Arkansas (AA) 4 4 4.03 17 17 0 0 67 65 4 27 55 .255

Omaha (AAA) 2 2 5.40 11 6 0 0 37 33 3 15 41 .244

Kansas City (MLB) 0 2 6.23 9 0 0 0 9 7 4 7 10 .212

BORN: Jan. 25, 1997. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-2.

WT.: 195. DRAFTED: HS—Indianapolis,

2015 (1st round). SIGNED BY: Mike Farrell.

BACKGROUND: For the second straight

year, the Royals used their first two picks on

high school pitchers. Both times Kansas City

paired a riskier, higher-ceiling arm with a more

polished strike-thrower. The 2015 duo—the

more-polished Watson and the harder-throwing

Ashe Russell—played down the road from

each other in Indianapolis. Watson’s stock rose

significantly once the Vanderbilt commit’s fastball

jumped from 86-88 mph in the summer

of 2014 to the 90-93 he showed before the

2015 draft.

SCOUTING REPORT: Watson is an advanced pitcher for his age who repeats his delivery and

has a present plus fastball. He touched 95 mph in his pro debut at Rookie-level Burlington,

and some scouts think he’ll settle at 92-95 mph. His fastball is a power sinker that lives in the

bottom of the zone. The Royals asked Watson to limit the use of his potentially above-average

slider in favor of a curveball. Watson took to the new pitch quickly, and he could develop a

low-80s, power curve in time. His changeup took off in instructional league when he threw

it regularly.

THE FUTURE: Watson has a chance to have three average or better pitches and at least average

control, giving him a shot of being a future No. 3 starter. The Royals may hold him back

from low Class A Lexington until May, but he’s ready for full-season ball in 2016.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Burlington (R) 0 3 4.91 11 11 0 0 29 39 2 11 16 .320

5. NOLAN

WATSON, RHP

4. MIGUEL

ALMONTE, RHP

BORN: May 24, 1997. B-T: B-R. HT.: 6-0.

WT.: 165. SIGNED: Italy, 2013. SIGNED BY:

Nick Leto.

BACKGROUND: Gasparini has stood out since

age 13 and has a chance to develop into the

best player born and raised in Italy. He signed

for a European-record $1.3 million bonus in

July 2013. His 2014 debut was slowed by

a hamstring injury, and he started slow in

2015, but he hit .357/.448/.529 with a vastly

improved strikeout rate in the second half at

Rookie-level Idaho Falls.

SCOUTING REPORT: Gasparini has a number

of exceptional tools that started to play in

2015. He’s a plus runner with a plus arm, and

he is starting to tap into potentially average power. He faces questions about whether he will

stick at shortstop, however. He made 35 errors in 52 games in 2015, and his .871 fielding percentage

was the worst among Pioneer League shortstops. Gasparini’s speed and arm would

play well in center field if he can’t clean up his defensive issues, but considering his youth and

relative inexperience, the Royals will work to better his defense. The switch-hitting Gasparini

shows similar aptitude from either batter’s box. His inexperience shows when recognizing

breaking balls, but he has gap power now that should develop into double-digit home runs.

THE FUTURE: Gasparini’s bat is ready for an assignment to low Class A Lexington in 2016,

when he turns 19, which means his glove will have to hurry to catch up. In terms of all-around

tools, he ranks second only to Raul A. Mondesi in the system.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB

Idaho Falls (R) .259 .341 .411 197 36 51 4 10 2 25 25 80 26

7. MARTEN

GASPARINI, SS

BORN: Aug. 28, 1996. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-4.

WT.: 201. DRAFTED: HS—Indianapolis,

2015 (1st round). SIGNED BY: Mike Farrell.

BACKGROUND: Russell was long considered

one of the best arms in the 2015 high school

draft class thanks to an excellent fastball/

slider combination. His lightning-quick arm

and the excellent boring action of his fastball

impressed scouts. They also knew that the

team drafting Russell would have to live with

a flawed delivery.

SCOUTING REPORT: Russell has a darting

92-94 mph fastball that will touch 97, and

his slider already flashes plus. But with an

up-tempo delivery with length in his takeaway

and a stabbing arm action, Russell’s control and quality of stuff tends to vary. When he

separates his hands too late, his upper body will struggle to catch his lower half. When that

happens, he loses direction to the plate, his breaking ball flattens out and his fastball misses

up in the zone. The Royals asked Russell to work on a curveball and use his slider less. His

curve is a little sweepy now, which is partly due to his lower arm slot. His changeup is barely

even a pitch right now because the Royals want him to focus on his delivery rather than

mastering a fourth pitch.

THE FUTURE: Russell has a front-line arm, but his timing issues made him hittable in his pro

debut at Rookie-level Burlington. He might not be ready to start at low Class A Lexington in

2016, though his performance in spring training will determine his assignment.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Burlington (R) 0 3 4.21 11 11 0 0 36 32 8 13 24 .235

6. ASHE

RUSSELL, RHP

BORN: Nov. 12, 1991. B-T: R-L. HT.: 6-4.

WT.: 180. DRAFTED: Neosho County (Kan.)

CC, 2012 (21st round). SIGNED BY: Casey Fahy.

BACKGROUND: When Strahm arrived at

Neosho County (Kan.) CC, he was an 82 mphthrowing

lefty out of West Fargo, N.D. As he

filled out his 6-foot-4 frame and cleaned up his

delivery, he added nearly 10 mph to his fastball

and turned into the ace of the Panthers’ staff.

SCOUTING REPORT: After Strahm missed

all of 2013 and much of 2014 recovering from

Tommy John surgery, the Royals wanted to

take things slow with the southpaw in 2015—

but it started out a little too slow. Stretched to

be ready for 60-pitch outings, Strahm threw

just seven relief innings at low Class A Lexington in April. By late June, he had pitched his way

into the rotation. His fastball sits at 89-94 mph with an easy, deceptive delivery and average

control. His slider locks batters up when he’s staying back in his delivery. At other times it

becomes a slurvier 78-82 mph offering with 2-to-8 break, more sweep and less depth than

the average slider. Even then, Strahm locates it well, and it’s deadly against lefties, who hit

just .143 against him in 2015. His changeup is a fringy third offering he doesn’t use much.

THE FUTURE: The Royals added to Strahm to the 40-man roster in November, and he will

head to Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2016. He has a shot at being a No. 4 starter, but he

should make his debut first as a reliever, which could happen in 2016.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 2 1 2.08 14 0 0 4 26 12 1 12 38 .140

Wilmington (Hi A) 1 6 2.78 15 11 0 1 68 48 7 19 83 .194

8. MATT

STRAHM, LHP

BORN: April 10, 1996. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-6.

WT.: 210. DRAFTED: HS—Baldwinsville,

N.Y., 2014 (2nd round). SIGNED BY: Bobby

Gandolfo.

BACKGROUND: Blewett became the first

New York high school righthander to go in the

top two rounds of the draft since Jason Marquis

in 1996. Midway through 2015, he looked like

he was going to pitch his way to high Class A

Wilmington. Held in extended spring training

until late May, Blewett blitzed low Class A

South Atlantic League hitters in his first eight

starts, but as the summer wore on, he labored

through August and his ERA nearly doubled.

SCOUTING REPORT: Early on in 2015,

Blewett filled the strike zone with a 92-95 mph fastball. He was aggressive in the zone, unlike

many young pitchers who like to nibble on the edges. His 12-to-6 curveball also is a potentially

above-average pitch that he can command. As Blewett wore down, his fastball backed

up, his control wavered and his curve lacked the same depth. He still flashed 95 mph once in

a while, but he was sitting in the low 90s and his fastball lacked the same crispness. Blewett

flashes a fringe-average changeup, but he doesn’t show any confidence or conviction in it yet.

THE FUTURE: Blewett still shows the ingredients to be a mid-rotation starter. He has an

excellent frame, a plus fastball and an above-average curveball. He learned in his full-season

debut that he’ll need more stamina to hold up to the rigors of a pro workload. Blewett might

not move to Wilmington immediately in 2016, but he should get there before long.

2015 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lexington (Lo A) 3 5 5.20 18 18 0 0 81 88 6 24 60 .272

9. SCOTT

BLEWETT, RHP

BORN: Nov. 16, 1992. B-T: R-R. HT.: 6-1.

WT.: 205. SIGNED: Nicaragua, 2009.

SIGNED BY: Juan Lopez/Orlando Estevez.

BACKGROUND: When the Royals called

him up on July 7, Cuthbert became the

14th Nicaragua-born player to reach the big

leagues. He is the first from Corn Island, a pair

of islands, in fact, located 50 miles off the coast

of Nicaragua that are inhabited by fewer than

10,000 people. Cuthbert’s callup cost him a trip

to the Futures Game. Instead, he hit a single in

each half of a Royals doubleheader.

SCOUTING REPORT: Cuthbert has been

young for every league in which he’s played,

and he reached the big leagues at age 22. His

tools are solid, but he impressed the Royals’ big league staff more with his steadiness. Though

he hasn’t shown more than fringe-average power, he adheres to the organization’s philosophy

of putting the ball in play consistently. Cuthbert battles at the plate and should end up

as a .270 hitter with solid on-base skills. He’s an average defender at third base, despite a

thick lower half, thanks to surprising agility and an accurate, average arm. Scouts have long

thought Cuthbert would migrate to first base, but he has kept himself in good shape.

THE FUTURE: Cuthbert isn’t going to push Mike Moustakas aside at third base, but he has

shown enough that the Royals are comfortable with him serving as a ready backup at Triple-A

Omaha as injury insurance.

2015 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB

Omaha (AAA) .277 .339 421 397 55 110 22 1 11 51 37 60 5

Kansas City (MLB) .217 .280 .370 46 6 10 2 1 1 8 4 9 0

10. CHESLOR

CUTHBERT, 3B/1B

BILL MITCHELL

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL TOP 10 PROSPECTS

CHASERS GAMEDAY | 59

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