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Moustakas, Hosmer assigned to Minors03/16/2011 10:49 PM ET
By Daren Smith / MLB.com
In addition to boasting a new nickname and new stadium, the Omaha Storm Chasers likely will have two of baseball's top prospects in the lineup when they open the season next month.
Infielders Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer were among seven non-roster players sent to Minor League camp by the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
While neither was assigned to a specific team, both are expected to join the Royals' Triple-A affiliate.
"The thinking is that we've got [Mike] Aviles, [Kila] Ka'aihue, [Wilson] Betemit and guys we've got to get ready for the season here and it doesn't make any sense having those kids sitting on the bench in Spring Training," Kansas City manager Ned Yost told MLB.com. "The Minor League games start tomorrow and the plan all along was to keep these kids in camp so that they were playing as much as they could."
Moustakas hit .238 (5-for-21) with a homer and six RBIs in 11 spring games, but Hosmer was tearing up the Cactus League with a .474 (9-for-19) average, two homers and eight RBIs in 12 games.
"[Moustakas] had a great spring, and we don't compare those two," Yost said. "There's no comparison between any of our players. Moose came in and did a great job. He worked hard on his defense while he was here and we've been very, very impressed with the changes we've seen him be able to take out into the game defensively at third base.
Also assigned to Minor League camp were Salvador Perez, the Royals' top catching prospect; infielder Joaquin Arias; outfielder Brett Carroll; catcher Cody Clark; and left-hander Blaine Hardy.
"They did great. Those kids have been awesome, they've had a great spring," Yost said. "Especially those young position players, Moustakas and Hosmer, and Salvador Perez. They did a great job at this camp and it won't be long until they're household names in Kansas City, I believe."
Moustakas begins the season as MLB.com's No. 7 prospect. Selected second overall in the 2007 Draft, he's coming off a breakout year in which he shared the Minor League lead with 36 homers and ranked second with 124 RBIs. He was named Texas League Player of the Year even though he was promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas in mid-July.
Hosmer is one spot behind Moustakas as MLB.com's No. 8 prospect. The third overall selection in 2008, he led the organization with a .338 batting average across two levels. He slugged 13 homers, drove in 86 runs and stole 14 bases in 137 games for Class A Advanced Wilmington and Texas League champion Northwest Arkansas.