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28 Former Naturals Headed to Royals Major League Spring Training

January 14, 2013 - Texas League (TL) Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Springdale, AR - The Kansas City Royals announced that the club has invited 21 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. Among the invitations are seven former Naturals including: three pitchers, two catchers, and two infielders. In addition to the seven non-roster invitees there are 21 former Naturals assigned to the Royals 40-man roster.

Pitchers (3):

22-year-old Sugar Ray Marimon pitched for bothWilmington (High A) and Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2012. He was a Carolina League All-Star, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.12 ERA in 14 games (nine starts) before his promotion to the Naturals. Marimon, a 6-foot-1 right-hander from Cartagena,Colombia, was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on November 20, 2006. He earned a win forColombia over Nicaragua on November 16, 2012 in World Baseball Classic qualifying and also tossed 5.0 scoreless innings over two appearances for Licey in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.

Michael Mariot, 24, was the Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year in 2012, recording a 6-3 record with a 3.40 ERA in 31 games, including 14 starts. The University ofNebraska product is a 5-foot-11 right-hander fromSouthlake, Texas, who was selected by the Royals in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft.

Yordano Ventura, 21, was the 2012 Wilmington Pitcher of the Year, a Carolina League All-Star and tossed a scoreless inning as the starting pitcher for the World squad in the SiriusXM MLB Futures All-Star Game inKansas City on July 8, 2012. The 5-foot-11 resident ofSamana, Dominican Republic, opened 2012 atWilmington, posting a 3-5 record with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts. Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Royals on October 8, 2008, the right-hander also made six starts forNorthwest Arkansas.

Noel Arguelles, Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, Chris Dwyer, Juan Gutierrez, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, John Lamb, Justin Marks, Will Smith, and Everett Teaford are Naturals alumni on the 40-man roster that are invited to Spring Training as well.

Catchers (2):

Manuel Pina was re-signed by the Royals after appearing in 49 minor league contests for Surprise (R) and Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2012, as well as one game with the big league club in September. The 25-year-old fromVenezuela missed the first three months of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee during Spring Training.

Julio Rodriguez, 23, was acquired by the Royals with left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Wilson Betemit on July 20, 2011. The Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic resident was a minor league All-Star in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and named the Dominican Tigers Player of the Year in 2008. Rodriguez batted .234 in 67 games for Northwest Arkansas a season ago.

Former Natural, Salvador Perez will also be attending Spring Training as a member of the Royals 40-man roster.

Infielders (2):

23-year-old Christian Colon was the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year and a Texas League All-Star in 2012. The middle infielder saw his season end prematurely in mid-August due to a right eye injury after batting .412 in five games for Omaha. Colon, the club's first round pick (fourth overall) in 2010 out of Cal State-Fullerton, hit .289 with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in 73 games forNorthwest Arkansas. The right-handed batter is hitting .301 with 13 stolen bases in 39 games forPonce in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Anthony Seratelli, 29, hit .299 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 115 games forOmaha in 2012. The versatile switch-hitter also stole 15 bases. Seratelli played in 230 games for the Naturals during the two (2010-2011) seasons he was inNorthwest Arkansas. The Royals purchased Seratelli from the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League on February 27, 2007.

Irving Falu, Johnny Giavotella, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakes are Naturals alum and members of the 40-man roster that will be attending Spring Training.

Outfilders:

Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson, Alex Gordon, and David Lough are former Naturals that make up half of the outfielders on the Royals 40-man roster for Spring Training.

To view the Royals complete 40-man roster please visit www.royals.com.

Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 11. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Tuesday, February 12. The remainder of the squad will report on Thursday, February 14 and begin workouts for the 2012 campaign on Friday, February 15.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The 2013 home opener is Thursday, April 4th. Visit our website, www.nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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