Opinion

Royals promote pitching prospect Sean Manaea to Class AA Northwest Arkansas

Kansas City Royals minor league pitcher Sean Manaea threw to batters during spring training in March.
Kansas City Royals minor league pitcher Sean Manaea threw to batters during spring training in March. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals promoted left-handed pitching prospect Sean Manaea to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

Manaea, 23, made four starts for Class A Wilmington, a level he dominated in the second half of 2014. Manaea struck out 22 batters in 19 2/3 innings for the Blue Rocks this season. His ERA was 3.66.

The Royals returned Manaea to Wilmington to start the season because he missed almost all of spring training with a strained abdominal muscle. He also tweaked his groin, which further delayed his arrival at a full-season affiliate.

Kansas City chose Manaea with the No. 34 pick in the 2013 draft. Manaea was initially believed to be a top-five talent, but he experienced a debilitating hip injury during his junior season at Indiana State. The Royals lavished a $3.55 million bonus upon him in order to entice him to sign.

It is unlikely Manaea will contribute at the big-league level in 2015. He is considered still somewhat raw by team officials.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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