The time has come once again to cheer on our friends in the Royals farm-system from afar, waiting for these next three months to pass until our own season starts.
We've talked about Burlington alumni in Spring Training and on the Kansas City Royals roster, and now it's time for the MiLB season to start. A quick run-down of the Kansas City Royals affiliates:
Triple A: Omaha Storm Chasers (Omaha, Nebraska)
Double A: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Springdale, Arkansas)
Class A-Advanced: Wilmington Blue Rocks (Wilmington, Delaware)
Class A: Lexington Legends (Lexington, Kentucky)
Rookie-Advanced: Idaho Falls Chukars (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
Rookie-Advanced: Burlington Royals (Burlington, North Carolina)
Rookie: Arizona League Royals (Surprise, Arizona)
Dominican Summer League Royals (Dominican Republic)
A total of 52 former B-Royals have earned their spot on full-season Opening Day rosters, including names that are well-known around Burlington. If you don't believe our motto "The Future Starts Here," you should.
OMAHA STORM CHASERS: Triple A, Pacific Coast League
6 out of the 7 Burlington alums breaking in Omaha have previously played for the Storm Chasers.
Kevin Lenik (2017)
Terrance Gore (2012)
Andres Machado (2013/14)
Kevin McCarthy (2013)
Humberto Arteaga (2012)
Ramon Torres (2013)
* Logan Moon (2014)
*Logan Moon will begin the season on the disabled list.
Of this group, only Kevin Lenik, Logan Moon, and Humberto Arteaga have yet to make it to the big leagues. Terrance Gore has made the most appearances for Kansas City, playing in 49 games since 2014.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS: Double A, Texas League
13 former B-Royals will begin in Springdale on Thursday.
Foster Griffin (2014)
Andrew Edwards (2013)
Jake Kalish (2015)
Zach Lovvorn (2013)
Yunior Marte (2014)
Corey Ray (2014)
Walker Sheller (2016)
Nathan Esposito (2016)
Luis Villegas (2013/15)
Alfredo Escalera (2013)
Anderson Miller (2015)
Nicky Lopez (2016)
Scott Blewett (2014)
Ranked #10 out of the top 30 Royals' prospects, Foster Griffin pitched in 11 games as a Burlington Royal in 2014. He finished the season with a 3.21 ERA in 28.0 innings. 2016 alum Nicky Lopez also headlines the Royals' top 30 prospects at #6.
WILMINGTON BLUE ROCKS: Class A-Advanced, Carolina League
11 players from 2014, 2015, and 2016 Burlington Royals teams will begin along the Atlantic Coast in the historic Carolina League.
Jacob Bodner (2015)
Justin Camp (2016)
Cristian Castillo (2016)
Gabe Cramer (2015)
Jose Veras (2015)
Chase Vallot (2014)
Meibrys Viloria (2014/15)
D.J. Burt (2014)
Chris DeVito (2016)
Jonathan McCray (2016)
Kort Peterson (2016)
This group of B-Royals alums is composed of 6 pitchers, two catchers, three infielders, and one outfielder.
LEXINGTON LEGENDS - Class A, South Atlantic League
21 Burlington alumni will begin with the stache-tastic Legends on the 5th of April. 15 out of the 21 played in Burlington this past year (2017).
Michael Gigliotti (2017)
Seuly Matias (2017)
Marten Gasparini (2014)
Travis Jones (2017)
Vance Vizcaino (2016)
Dennicher Carrasco (2017)
Jeison Guzman (2017)
Oliver Nunez (2017)
Manny Olloque (2014)
Sebastian Rivero (2017)
Julio Gonzalez (2017)
Sal Biasi (2017)
Carlos Hernandez (2017)
Collin Snider (2017)
Daniel Tillo (2017)
Nolan Watson (2015/17)
Tyler Zuber (2017)
Garrett Davila (2016)
Carter Hope (2014)
Julio Pinto (2014/15)
Andres Sotillet (2017)
This group is filled with talent, with 5 players in the top 30 Royals prospects. Leading the group are outfielders Seuly Matias (#3) and Michael Gigliotti (#5), followed by pitchers Carlos Hernandez (#14) and Daniel Tillo (#21). Jeison Guzman rounds out the group at #22.
Of course, the players wouldn't be where they are without the talented and professional coaching staff that also spent time in Burlington. Notable coaching staff for Royals full-season farm teams include:
Scott Thorman - Manager, Lexington Legends (Manager in Burlington from 2015/16)
Jesus Azuaje - Hitting Coach, Lexington Legends (Hitting Coach in 2015/16)
Good luck to everyone, and let's go Royals!
The Burlington Royals' season will begin with an exhibition game on Father's Day - Sunday, June 17th. Special Father's Day activities and promotions to be announced soon. Season tickets, Bonus Books, and group outings are available now.
Call 336-222-0223 or visit www.burlingtonroyals.com for more information.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.