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Rosters set for Royals minor league affiliates

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Catch the future of Royals baseball!

MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Minor league play begins this week, and affiliates have begun setting their tentative rosters. The Royals have a lot of work to do on the system, but the players on the farm will be crucial to the success of this rebuild.

Triple-A affiliate Omaha begins its 50th season working with the Royals. Sluggers Frank Schwindel, Ryan O’Hearn, and former first-round pick Hunter Dozier will highlight the lineup for the Storm Chasers. The outfield will feature speedsters Billy Burns and Terrance Gore along with Major League veterans Abraham Almonte and Tyler Collins. The pitching staff will feature starters Trevor Oaks and Heath Fillmyer, acquired in off-season trades from the Dodgers and Athletics, respectively. Josh Staumont and his 100 mph fastball will be on the staff as well as former Brewers 17-game winner Wily Peralta. The bullpen will feature Kevin Lenik, Richard Lovelady, Kevin McCarthy, and Eric Stout.

Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)

Manager: Brian Poldberg

Catchers: Nick Dini, Parker Morin

Infielders: Humberto Arteaga, Cody Asche, Hunter Dozier, Jack Lopez, Ryan O’Hearn, Frank Schwindel, Ramon Torres

Outfielders: Abraham Almonte, Billy Burns, Tyler Collins, Terrance Gore

Pitchers: Scott Barlow, Mike Broadway, Jonathan Dziedzic, Heath Fillmyer, Kevin Lenik, Richard Lovelady, Andres Machado, Seth Maness, Kevin McCarthy, Trevor Oaks, Wily Peralta, Josh Staumont, Eric Stout

Disabled list: Logan Moon

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will compete in the Texas League with two of the best pitching prospects in the system - Foster Griffin and Scott Blewett. Shortstop Nicky Lopez and first baseman Samir Duenez will be among the hitters to watch for, as well as newly acquired infielder Erick Mejia, over from the Dodgers. Outfielder Donnie Dewees will repeat AA, as will many of the Naturals this season.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)

Manager: Mike Rojas

Catchers: Nathan Esposito, Allan de San Miguel, Luis Villegas

Infielders: John Brontsema, Samir Duenez, Jecksson Flores, Alex Liddi, Erick Mejia, Corey Toups

Outfielders: Donnie Dewees, Alfredo Escalera, Elier Hernandez, Anderson Miller

Pitchers: Jason Adam, Scott Blewett, Pedro Fernandez, Foster Griffin, Jake Kalish, Zach Lovvorn, Yunior Marte, Jake Newberry, Emilio Ogando, Corey Ray, Sam Selman, Glenn Sparkmann, Franco Terrero

Disabled list: Jacob Bodner, Brandon Downes

The Blue Rocks will have some top talent this year, with outfielder Khalil Lee and catcher Chase Vallot highlighting the roster. Joining them will catcher Meibrys Viloria and infielder Emmanuel Rivera. The pitching staff will include 2016 draft picks such as Jace Vines, Walker Sheller, and local product Grant Gavin.

Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A)

Manager: Jaime Quirk

Catchers: Xavier Fernandez, Chase Vallot, Meibrys Viloria

Infielders: D.J. Burt, Angelo Castellano, Gabriel Cancel, Chris Devito, Emmanuel Rivera

Outfielders: Nick Heath, Khalil Lee, Rudy Martin, Kort Peterson

Pitchers: Nolan Becker, Anthony Bender, Bryan Brickhouse, Justin Camp, Cristian Castillo, Gerson Garabito, Grant Gavin, Ofreidy Gomez, Arnaldo Hernandez, Jared Ruxer, Walker Sheller, Vance Tatum, Jace Vines, Matthew Wynne

First baseman Nick Pratto, the Royals’ first-round pick from 2018, will begin his season at Lexington, the A-ball affiliate in the South Atlantic League. Also from that draft is catcher M.J. Melendez and outfielder Michael Gigliotti in the lineup for the Legends. Outfielder Seuly Matias, considered one of the best pure-power hitters in the system will join them in the lineup. Garrett Davila, Daniel Tillo, and Nolan Watson are among the pitchers to keep an eye on.

Lexington Legends (Low A)

Manager: Scott Thorman

Catchers: Julio Gonzalez, M.J. Melendez, Sebastian Rivero

Infielders: Ricky Aracena, Dennicher Carrasco, Jeison Guzman, Travis Jones, Oliver Nunez

Outfielders: Marten Gasparini, Michael Gigliotti, Seuly Matias, Vance Vizcaino

Pitchers: Sal Biasi, Holden Capps, Garrett Davila, Dillon Drabble, Carlos Hernandez, Carter Hope, Joshua Mitchell, Julio Pinto, Collin Snider, Andres Sotillet, Daniel Tillo, Nolan Watson, Tyler Zuber

Top prospects Adalberto Mondesi and Bubba Starling are still in extended spring training with injuries and will be assigned once they have recovered. Other prospects like Brewer Hicklen, Evan Steele, Yefri del Rosario, and Juan Carlos Negret could be assigned to a short-season team later. Kyle Zimmer and Miguel Almonte were both designated for assignment and could still be assigned if they clears waivers.

The minor league season begins Thursday, April 5.