KANSAS CITY -- The Royals added three prospects to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's 7 p.m. CT deadline, and now their 40-man roster stands at 38.The Royals added left-handers Tim Hill and Eric Stout, and catcher Meibrys Viloria, thus protecting all three from exposure to the Rule 5 Draft
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals added three prospects to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's 7 p.m. CT deadline, and now their 40-man roster stands at 38.
The Royals added left-handers Tim Hill and Eric Stout, and catcher Meibrys Viloria, thus protecting all three from exposure to the Rule 5 Draft slated for Dec. 14 at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Royals likely hwill enter the Winter Meetings with two open spots on the 40-man in order to be eligible to select a player in the Rule 5 Draft, unless te team signs a free agent or two before then. Kansas City can also non-tender players to create more openings on the 40-man.
Hill, 27, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound pitcher, was a 32nd-round Draft pick in 2014 out of Bacone College in Oklahoma. Hill split time between Class A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2017, and had a combined ERA of 4.74. He struck out 84 in 74 innings.
Stout, 24, is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds and was drafted in the 13th round in 2014 out of Butler University in Indiana. Stout posted a 2.99 ERA and five saves in 45 appearances, 44 in relief, for Triple-A Omaha last season.
Viloria, 20, was a non-drafted signee in 2014 from Cartagena, Colombia. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounds left-handed hitter is the Royals' No. 17 prospect per MLBPipeline.com. He hit .259 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs last season at Class A Lexington. The Royals believe his power will continue to develop as he matures and fills out.
Players 18 years old or younger, preceding the signing of their first contract, must be protected on the 40-man roster after five Minor League seasons or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. Players 19 years old and older must be protected after four seasons.
Teams who select a player in the Rule 5 Draft must keep the player on their 25-man roster for the entire season or offer him back to his original team.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.