The event will occur at The Apollo on Emma in Springdale in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club

David Glass, the owner of the Kansas City Royals, addressing fans at the Naturals 2017 Hot Stove Luncheon. (NWA Naturals)

By Naturals PR Department / Northwest Arkansas Naturals | January 4, 2018 4:06 PM

SPRINGDALE, Ark. - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will host a Hot Stove Luncheon to preview the 2018 season on Monday, January 15 at The Apollo on Emma (308 W. Emma Ave.) in Springdale in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club.

The Hot Stove Luncheon will take place from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. with doors opening at The Apollo on Emma at 11:30 a.m. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15. The event features J.J. Picollo, Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel of the Kansas City Royals and Vance Wilson, the Kansas City Royals Bullpen Coach and former Naturals Manager from 2014 through 2017. The two (2) special guests will be on hand to greet fans and take questions during a scheduled Q & A session during the program. David Glass, the owner of the Kansas City Royals, is also scheduled to be in attendance while Justin Cole, the Vice President/General Manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, will provide fans with an update on the upcoming season at Arvest Ballpark.

Admission to the event is $20 per person, which includes a lunch. Fans that are interested in attending the Hot Stove Luncheon are encouraged to call Sam Ahern at (479) 927-4055 or email him at to purchase their ticket(s) to the event. The Naturals encourage fans to purchase their Hot Stove Luncheon tickets in advance as there are currently only 20 spots left through the Naturals allotment for the event.

J.J. Picollo, Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel - Kansas City Royals

J.J. Picollo will begin his fourth season as the club's Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel. He was promoted to his current position on January 5, 2015. He previously served as the Royals Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development, a role he held since 2008. Picollo joined the Royals' staff on August 13, 2006 as Director of Player Development.

He came to the Royals after serving as the Director of Minor League Operations for the Atlanta Braves since November, 2005 and had been with the organization since 1999. Prior to his promotion as Director of Minor League Operations, Picollo served as the Assistant Director of Player Development after working as an Area Scouting Supervisor for Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington D.C.

Vance Wilson, Bullpen Coach - Kansas City Royals (2018) / Naturals Manager (2014-2017)

Wilson, a Springdale native, served as the Manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals for the previous four seasons (2014-2017) prior to being promoted to the Bullpen Coach of the Kansas City Royals in advance of the 2018 season. During his tenure at Arvest Ballpark, he guided the Naturals to three (3) consecutive post-season appearances (2015-2017) including back-to-back trips to the Texas League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016.

The 2018 season of Naturals baseball at Arvest Ballpark will begin when Northwest Arkansas hosts the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A Affiliate of the World Champion Houston Astros, on Thursday, April 5 at 6:25 p.m.

Follow the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Twitter @NWANaturals all throughout the year by using the hashtags #NaturalPastime and #CrowntoCrown for all of our up-to-date information on the 2018 schedule, tickets, group outings, promotions, roster, and Spring Training information as we prepare for the upcoming 2018 season.

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, Ark. For more information, including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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