The Kansas City Royals will bring an extensive cast of non-roster invitees to spring training this year, and a few of them have interesting big-league track records.
The Royals announced on Saturday that the club has invited 22 non-roster players to major league spring training in Surprise, Arizona. Among the invitees are 13 pitchers, four catchers, four infielders and one outfielder.
Of the 22 non-roster invitees, 16 played in the Royals’ organization last season.
Left-handed pitchers Jonathan Dziedzic (13th round, 2013), Eric Skoglund (third round, 2014) and Eric Stout (13th round, 2014), right-handed pitchers Malcom Culver (eighth round, 2008), Luke Farrell (sixth round, 2013), A.J. Puckett (second round, 2016) and Josh Staumont (second round, 2015), catchers Zane Evans (fourth round, 2013), Xavier Fernandez (11th round, 2013), Parker Morin (14th round, 2012) and Chase Vallot (Competitive Balance Round, 2014), infielders Ryan O’Hearn (eight round, 2014) and Corey Toups (15th round, 2014) and outfielder Alfredo Escalera (eighth round, 2012) were all drafted by the Royals. Right-handed pitcher Yender Caramo and infielder Humberto Arteaga both signed as non-drafted free agents.
Other non-roster invitees include: left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, right-handed pitchers Al Alburquerque, Brandon League, Bobby Parnell and Chris Withrow and infielder Garin Cecchini.
Albuquerque, Parnell and Withrow saw big-league action in 2016, with Withrow (3.58 ERA in 37 2/3 innings for the Atlanta Braves) having experienced the most success. League is a former All-Star closer who last pitched in the majors in 2014. Sanchez, who started 12 games for the Royals back in 2012, threw a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants in 2009.
The 25-year-old Cecchini, a 2010 draftee of the Boston Red Sox, was once ranked as one of the top third base prospects in baseball. He has yet to receive an extended opportunity in the major leagues, though, and received just 40 MLB at-bats with Boston from 2014-15.