Royals' Myers Rebounds In Big Way

Royals outfielder boasts loud first half

Best Player: Wil Myers' rebound from a challenging 2011 season began in the Arizona Fall League and carried over into this season. The 2009 third-round pick hit .360/.481/.674 in the AFL, and his 1.156 OPS ranked third in the circuit.
He stayed hot in the Texas League at the start of this season, batting .343/.414/.731 with 13 home runs and 30 RBIs in 134 at-bats for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. That earned him a mid-May promotion to Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .315/.402/.643 with 11 home runs.

Biggest Leap Forward: Yordano Ventura's leap has taken him from the low Class A Midwest League last season to the Futures Game this year. Ventura went 4-6, 4.27 in 19 starts for Kane County in 2011 and was 0-2, 4.43 after five starts with high Class A Wilmington this season. But Ventura, who the Royals signed for $28,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, was overpowering in his next nine starts, going 3-3, 2.45. Overall, the 21-year-old has used a fastball that tops out at 100 mph to go 3-5, 3.04.

Biggest Disappointment: Buyer beware. The Royals signed Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles to a $7 million contract in 2010 that included placement on the 40-man roster. Arguelles' arm, however, was abused at a young age in Cuba, throwing a ton of pitches in world junior competition. Instead of a fast track to the majors, Arguelles needed shoulder surgery and missed the entire 2010 season.

The 22-year-old began this year with Northwest Arkansas and was off to a dismal start: 2-7, 6.12 in 14 starts with a .319 opponent average. He had more walks (32) than strikeouts (28) in 68 innings.


• Aroni Nina, a 21-year-old Dominican righthander, had his fastball clocked as high as 98 mph and sat 94-96 in a June 25 Rookie-league Arizona League start against the Athletics.

• Infielder Jake Kuebler, a cousin of Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, was released after batting .150/.222/.224 in 107 at-bats with Wilmington.