Hopeful that a number of top prospects can gain valuable experience this offseason, the Kansas City Royals could be sending as many as 21 players to winter ball this year as reported by Dick Kaegel of MLB.com.
Among the names headed to warmer climates is young pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress, a 25-year-old right-hander who spent time at Double-A, Triple-A and the majors this season. A former first round draft pick in 2006 by Milwaukee, Jeffress was listed as Kansas City's 13th-best prospect after the 2011 season by Baseball America.
While Jeffress will head to Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan league, teammate Francisley Bueno has chosen to play in the Dominican league with Tigres del Licey this winter. Bueno broke into the majors in 2012 with an impressive 18-game stint where he posted a 1.56 earned-run average, and looks to be a valuable commodity in Kansas City's bullpen going forward.
Among the five of Kansas City's top 20 prospects tabbed by MLB.com shortly after the season heading to winter ball, shortstop Christian Colon has announced plans to suit up for Leones de Ponce in the Puerto Rico league. In addition, the trio of pitcher J.C. Sulbaran, shortstop Orlando Calixte and outfielder Brian Fletcher will all team up to play for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League.