Royals short-season affiliates have begun play, with the Idaho Falls Chukars starting Pioneer League last Friday, and the Burlington Royals beginning Appalachian League play last night. Short-season leagues are typically for new draftees and younger players in the organization.
Daniel Lynch, a left-handed pitcher taken with the 34th overall pick in this month’s draft, headlines the roster for Burlington this year. Lynch had a 3.96 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings for Virginia this year. Other 2018 draft picks on the B-Royals include pitchers Austin Cox (5th round), Kyle Hinton (16th), Josh Dye (23rd) and Derrick Adams (27th).
Listed on the roster is 2015 first-round pick Ashe Russell, the right-handed pitcher who took a break from baseball to return this year, although he is listed as not active. Elvis Luciano, a right-handed pitcher acquired earlier this month from the Diamondbacks for Jon Jay, will also pitch in Burlington, as well as promising 2017 fifth-round pick Charlie Neuweiler, who had a 1.76 ERA in the Arizona Summer League last year.
The lineup for the B-Royals will features shortstop Jeison Guzman, who signed a $1.5 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic back in 2015. Isaiah Henry, a 14th-round pick in 2017, will patrol the outfield, along with Montae Bradshaw, son of Royals hitting instructor Terry Bradshaw.
The Idaho Falls Chukars play in the more advanced short-season league, and will feature a number of 2018 college draft picks including pitchers Jonathan Bowlan (2nd round), Tyler Gray (7th), Jon Heasley (13), catcher Nathan Eaton (21st), infielder Kyle Kasser (30th), and outfielder Kyle Isbel (3rd). Also on the roster are 2017 draft picks pitchers J.C. Cloney, Jordan Floyd, Connor Mayes, catchers Brady Cox and Nick Hutchins, outfielder Tyler James. The Chukars will also include Lee’s Summit native pitcher Nathan Webb, and C.J. Eldred, an undrafted free agent pitcher out of Iowa who is the son of Royals pitching coach Cal Eldred.
Catchers: Freddy Fermin, Chris Hudgins
Infielders: Dalton Griffin, Jeison Guzman, Jose Marquez, Angel Medina, Rafael Romero
Outfielders: Montae Bradshaw, Isaiah Henry, Juan Carlos Negret, Ismaldo Rodriguez
Pitchers: Randy Acevedo, Derrick Adams, Luis Alcantara, Austin Cox, Jose De Leon, Josh Dye, Emmanuel Estevez, Yerelmy Garcia, Kelvin Gonzalez, Kyle Hinton, Bryar Johnson, Austin Lambright, Elvis Luciano, Daniel Lynch, Ismael Maldonado, Charlie Neuweiler, Ashe Russell, Malcolm Van Buren, Marlin Willis
Idaho Falls Chukars
Catchers: Jesus Atencio, Brady Cox, Nathan Eaton, Nick Hutchins
Infielders: Offerman Collado, Julio Gonzalez, Kyle Kasser, Manny Olloque, Reed Rohlman
Outfielders: Jose Caraballo, Kyle Isbel, Tyler James, Andres Martin, Rudy Martin, Isaiah Smith
Pitchers: Jonathan Bowlan, J.C. Cloney, Dillon Drabble, C.J. Eldred, Jordan Floyd, Robert Garcia, Tyler Gray, Stephen Greenlees, Jon HEasley, Jaret Hellinger, Jackson Klein, Joey Markus, Christopher Marte, Connor Mayes, Michael Messier, Domingo Pena, Nathan Webb