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