Springdale, AR - The Peoria Javelinas are a coalition of five major league organizations, and the six members of 2013 Naturals represent the highest total of 2013 teammates from any other organization. The Javelinas are one of six teams made up of five other major league organizations that will send representatives to take part in the annual Arizona Fall League showcase. The 31-game autumn slate begins next Tuesday when the Javelinas visit Surprise Stadium.
In total the Royals will send eight players to suit up for Peoria, which is only matched by the Houston Astros who will also be represented by eight players. The Javelinas will have seven players from the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners organizations, and six from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Of the six 2013 Naturals represented in Arizona, three were promoted to Northwest Arkansas in mid-season from Hi-A Wilmington in the Carolina League. OF Jorge Bonifacio and 3B Cheslor Cuthbert were the third and fourth-place hitters on Brian Poldberg's line-up card by the time the team was making a late-season playoff push. Bonifacio is the second-best position-player prospect according to Baseball America, the 20-year-old hit .301 with 19 RBI in 25 games for the Naturals. Cuthbert is also just 20-years old and is rated at the ninth-best prospect in the Kansas City System by both Baseball America and MLB.com. OF Lane Adams rounds out the trio from Wilmington and finished the year with the Triple-A National Champion Omaha Storm Chasers. Adams, the Red Oak-, OK-native, hit .270 with 12 homeruns, 29 doubles, 65 RBI, and 33 stolen bases between Wilmington and the Naturals this season.
SS Orlando Calixte spent the entire 2013 campaign in Northwest Arkansas and dazzled the Texas League with his play at shortstop this season. Baseball America ranked the 21-year-old as the fourthbext postion player prospect in the Royals Organization and the Texas League All-Star batted .248 with 8 homeruns, 35 RBI, and 14 stolen bases.
RHP Jason Adam and LHP Noel Argüelles are the pitchers that round out the 2013 Naturals named to the team. Adam was a workhorse all Naturals pitchers this season completed 137 innings-pitched. The 22-year-old from Overland Park, Kansas was Kansas City's fifth round selection in the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft and was ranked as the Royals fourth-best pitching prospect by Baseball America headed into the 2013 Season. Argüelles appeared in 25 games for the Naturals this season including 11 starts. The Cuban-born left-hander also started 25 games for Northwest Arkansas last season. The Royals inked Argüelles to five-year contract in 2010. On the disabled list since July 24th, Argüelles made a rehab appearance for the Royals Arizona League team on July 25th and tossed scoreless inning tallying two strikeouts to start the game.
The Astros selections are highlighted by 2B Delino DeShields and SS Nolan Fontana. DeShields is the son of 13-year Major League veteran Delino DeShields. The former first round selection in the 2010 MLB Draft hit .317 with 5 homeruns and 54 RBI in 111 games at HiA-Lancaster in the California League. Fontana is the organzation's tenth-best prospect according to Baseball America and hit .359 with 8 homeruns and 60 RBI in 104 games also forthe Lancaster Jet Hawks.
The San Diego Padres submit several exciting players including their fourth ranked prospect C Austin Hedges. Right-handed pitchers Keyvious Sampson and Burch Smith are no strangers to the Naturals players that will become teammates this fall. Sampson sandwiched a 10-4 sophomore Double-A campaign with a 2-3 record and 7.11 ERA at AAA-Tucscon. Smith began the year with San Antonio and pitched to a 1.15 ERA in 31 1/3 innings before a promotion to AAA-Tuscon, where he went 5-1 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts and finished the year with the Padres.
RHP Mike Nesseth has only gotten better for the Philadelphia Phillies and he leads their sibmissions. The 25-year old was a 17th Round selection in the 2010 draft and he tossed 51 innings between AA-Reading and AAA-Lehigh Valley to a 1.14 ERA after opening the season with HiA - Clearwater.
LHP Kyle Hunter leads the crop for Seattle's representatives with 3-0 record in 2013 with a save in 57 2/3 innings in 34 games including four starts. The fomer 31st Round Draft choice from Kansas State opened the year after opening the year at HiA - High Desert.
RHP Angel Baez and RHP Malcom Culver will also represent the Royals Organization.
The Arizona Fall League was created by Major League Baseball in 1992 to serve it clubs with another avenue for selected top prospects to gain further opportunities for instruction and experience. The season begins on Tuesday October 8th and culminates with the Championship Game on November 16th. The Rising Stars Game, the league's showcase exhibition, is scheduled for November 2nd.
The Seventh Season of Naturals Baseball begins Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Frisco, TX. The team opens at Arvest Ballpark on Thursday April 10, 2014 against the same Frisco Rough Riders.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.