International Reviews: Kansas City Royals
See also: 2015 Royals International Review
See also: 2014 Royals International Review
See also: 2013 Royals International Review
Top signing: LHP Braulio Nunez, Dominican Republic, $125,000.
Total signings: 30.
The Royals exceeded their bonus pool in 2015-16, so they went through their first of two penalties years in the 2016-17 signing period that began last July 2. The Royals still signed players, though nearly everyone in their class got less than $100,000. They will still be under the penalty in the 2017-18 signing period that opens this year on July 2, but expect them to be spending more this upcoming signing period that they did in 2016-17.
Three players got six-figure deals from the Royals last year, including a pair of pitchability lefties. One was Braulio Nunez, a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic who signed in December. He’s 6-foot-1, 180 pounds with solid mechanics and an upper-80s fastball and secondary stuff that’s a work in progress. The other is Angel Zerpa, a 17-year-old from Venezuela who got $100,000 in July after training with John Colon. He’s another pitchability lefty throwing in the mid-to-upper 80s, with Zerpa showing good feel for a changeup that has late diving action.
Reynin Reynoso, a 17-year-old Dominican center fielder, signed for $100,000 in July. He’s a lefty with a line drive, contact-oriented stroke and gap power from his lean frame (5-foot-11, 160 pounds). He’s not a burner in center field, but his average speed plays up in the outfield because he has a quick first step and gets good jumps off the bat. Most of the players in the Royals’ class were lower-dollar signings.
Grant Gavin Chases Life-Long Dream
The Kansas City native grew up a Royals fan and took another step toward his goal of pitching off the Kauffman Stadium mound in 2018.
One name to watch from that group is Kember Nacero, who signed for $30,000 in July. Nacero is a 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop who isn’t that big (5-foot-11, 155 pounds) but is a smart player with a high level of overall game awareness. He’s not a big runner but he’s an instinctive defender at shortstop who fields his position well. Nacero is more defensive-oriented right now but makes steady contact from the right side of the plate.