The Royals announced four minor league contracts this afternoon. Righties Cody Poteet and Brooks Kriske are joining the organization, while minor league free agent outfielder Seuly Matias returns for an eighth year with the franchise. Kansas City also confirmed their previously reported non-roster agreement with catcher Jakson Reetz.
Poteet is the most notable of the bunch, as he’s picked up some swing work at the major league level over the past couple seasons. A career-long member of the Marlins, he debuted midway through the 2021 season. The righty made seven starts that year, allowing just under five earned runs per nine innings. Poteet generated decent swing-and-miss rates and averaged just under 94 MPH on his heater as a starter, but he struggled with walks and home runs in that limited look. His debut season was cut short by a right knee sprain.
Injuries were again a story in 2022, as the UCLA product missed the bulk of the year with elbow trouble. When healthy, he was primarily relegated to long relief work, starting just two of his 12 outings. Poteet tossed 28 frames over that stretch, putting up a decent 3.86 ERA but seeing his strikeout rate dip to 18.4%. His velocity ticked up in the shorter stints, as he averaged 94.9 MPH on his four-seam fastball. Poteet relied more frequently on his changeup, particularly against left-handed batters, while turning to a slider more often against righties.
At season’s end, Miami ran Poteet through outright waivers. He went unclaimed and elected minor league free agency, and he now joins the second organization of his career. The 28-year-old adds a depth option for either the rotation or long relief to the upper levels. He owns a 4.45 ERA over 58 2/3 MLB frames and a 3.81 mark with an 18.8% strikeout rate in parts of seven minor league seasons.
Kriske, 29 in February, has 16 MLB appearances to his name split between the Yankees and Orioles. Those came from 2020-21, with the reliever allowing 25 runs in 15 innings. A USC product, Kriske made the jump to Japan last offseason. He inked a deal with NPB’s Yokohama BayStars and split the season between the highest level and their minor league affiliate. In 18 appearances with the BayStars, Kriske posted a 2.57 ERA over 21 innings. He struck out an excellent 29.2% of batters faced but walked 14.6% of his opponents.
Over parts of four minor league campaigns, most of which were spent in the New York system, Kriske owns a 2.34 ERA. He has a stellar 33.3% strikeout rate in lower levels. Control issues have been a problem throughout his career, as he’s walked 10.7% of minor league hitters. He’s shown the ability to miss plenty of bats against high-level opponents though.
Matias was once a highly regarded prospect, thanks largely to his right-handed power potential. He’s limited to the corner outfield and has dealt with serious swing-and-miss issues throughout his career, with those concerns stalling his move up the ladder. The 24-year-old hit .225/.330/.424 in 414 plate appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas this year. Matias connected on 16 home runs while striking out a third of the time. He has yet to reach the majors.