The Royals will be sending eight players to the Arizona Fall League this year, including first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and pitcher Josh Staumont. Royals prospects will play on the Surprise Saguaros, a team made up of farmhands from the Royals, Red Sox, Twins, Pirates, and Rangers. Their manager will be former Royals second baseman Carlos Febles.
O’Hearn was promoted to AA Northwest Arkansas after just 22 games in Wilmington. Overall the first baseman hit .275/.352/.480 with 21 HR, but 150 strikeouts in 128 games. The left-handed hitter was an eighth round pick out of Sam Houston State in 2014. Josh Staumont has one of the higher ceilings for a pitcher in the Royals organization. He features a fastball that can reach triple digits, but has struggled mightily with his command. He put up better numbers after being promoted to AA Northwest Arkansas, but still walked 100 batters in just 111 1⁄3 innings overall, while striking out 147. He had a 4.45 ERA, although he had a 3.29 ERA in 38 1⁄3 innings with the Naturals.
Joining O’Hearn and Staumont will be second baseman Corey Toups, third baseman Mauricio Ramos, outfielder Alfredo Escalera, left-handed pitcher Eric Stout, right-handed pitchers Evan Beal and Jake Newberry. The Arizona Fall League is made up of six teams and is meant to challenge higher-level players on the cusp of making the big leagues. Other top prospects headed to the AFL include Red Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada, Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Braves infielder Ozzie Albies, Yankees infielders Gleyber Torres and Greg Bird, Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows, and Astros pitcher Francis Martes and David Paulino. Complete rosters are available here.
Games begin on October 11 and run until November 17.