The KC Royals contingent of nine won the Arizona Fall League West Division as members of the Surprise Saguaros, managed by former Royal Carlos Febles (who now manages in the Boston organization). They lost to champion Mesa on Saturday to finish the AFL season.
So, how did those nine Royals minor leaguers do in the AFL? Let’s take a look.
First let’s start with right-handed reliever Jake Newberry, who only pitched in the first week of the AFL. In two appearances (totaling two scoreless innings), he allowed two hits while striking out four. Newberry threw 27 pitches, 21 for strikes.
In week 3, fellow right-hander Todd Eaton took his place. In five games (totaling seven innings), he allowed five runs on nine hits (two home runs). Eaton struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Royals top prospect (according to Baseball America) Josh Staumont made the first start of the AFL season for Surprise (along with six more). He had some dominating performances (he earned Pitcher of the Week after two starts in Week 2) and some clunkers (much like his entire 2016 season). Over those seven starts, Staumont allowed 14 runs (12 earned) on 15 hits (two homers) and 16 walks. In 24 innings, he struck out 30. He had his only no walk game of the year on October 17th (4IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 2K), but never pitched more than four innings in a start.
Lefty Eric Stout made his only start in the AFL (he had started just two games prior in his entire career) in Saturday’s championship game (and took the loss). In nine relief appearances for Surprise, he allowed four runs on ten hits (one homer) and six walks. Over 13 innings, Stout struck out 13. He only allowed runs in three appearances.
Right-handed reliever Evan Beal pitched in 11 games (plus Saturday’s championship in which he did not allow a run over 1.1 innings). Over 14.2 innings (not counting the championship), he allowed six runs on seven hits and ten walks. He struck out 13. Beal only allowed runs in three appearances.
Now to the hitters…
It took first baseman Ryan O’Hearn until November 12th to hit his first (and only) home run (though it did come against a left-handed pitcher). While he hit .291 overall in 23 games (25-for-86), he only had five extra base hits (four doubles). O’Hearn also struck out 26 times, but did walk 13 times while only playing first base.
Second baseman Corey Toups had a rough AFL season, as he committed five errors in 15 games. He only hit .238 (15-for-63) and struck out 19 times compared to just three walks. Toups did hit three doubles and two home runs.
Mauricio Ramos predominantly played first base or was the DH until Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada was shut down and Ramos started playing third base (his natural position). He hit .228 in 15 games (13-for-57) with four doubles and two homers. Ramos only walked three times compared to 11 strikeouts.
It was also a rough AFL season for outfielder Alfredo Escalera (who played both left and right field). He hit just .179 (14-for-78) in 20 games with one double. Escalera did score six runs and drive in seven. However, he walked just twice and struck out 24 times. He did not walk in his final ten games.