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Marks named to AFL's Top Prospects Team
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Justin Marks was the Royals' only representative on the Arizona Fall League's Top Prospects Team selected by the AFL managers and coaches.

Marks was one of two starting pitchers named to the 22-player team selected for performance during the six-week fall season as well as Major League projectability.

Pitching for the Surprise Saguaros, Marks led the league with five victories, going 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in seven starts. In 24 1/3 innings, he had 22 strikeouts and gave up 24 hits and five walks. He held left-handed batters to a .160 average.

He spent most of this season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, posting a 3-5 record and a 3.80 ERA in 17 starts. His season was interrupted by an injury -- a comebacker hit him in the face and fractured his right orbital bone -- which kept him out of 42 games. While rehabbing, he pitched two games for Surprise in rookie ball and finished his season with one rocky start for Triple-A Omaha.

Marks, 24, was drafted out of the University of Louisville by the Athletics in 2009 and was traded to the Royals with pitcher Vin Mazzaro for outfielder David DeJesus after the 2010 season. Marks is on the Royals' Major League roster.

Other Royals winter ball notes:

In the Venezuelan Winter League, catcher Salvador Perez continued his hot hitting. In 10 games for Tiburones de La Guaira, Perez was 16-for-48, .372, with four doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs.

Shortstop Alcides Escobar began play for Cardenales de Lara but went just 2-for-13 in his first three games. Outfielder Paulo Orlando was 10-for-24, .417, in his first six games for the same team.

Catcher Max Ramirez had a .315 average for Bravos de Margarita with 29 hits but just five for extra bases, all doubles. Utility player Rey Navarro was hitting .319 for Criollos de Caguas with nine RBIs in 11 games.

Right-hander Juan Gutierrez, former closer for Arizona, had a 1.13 ERA in 17 relief outings for Leones del Caracas with nine saves in 10 chances and a 1-1 record. He notched 17 strikeouts against five walks in 16 innings.

Guillermo Moscoso, a right-hander claimed by the Royals off waivers from the Rockies, was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in seven relief appearances for Caracas.

Former Angels right-hander Anthony Ortega, signed as a Minor League free agent, missed last season because of Tommy John surgery but has pitched in 20 games for Tiburones. He has a 3.24 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 25 innings.

In the Dominican Winter League, infielder Tony Abreu was hitting .244 in 12 games for Aguilas Cibaenas and left-hander Atahualpa Severino had a 4.97 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Tigres del Licey.

In the Puerto Rican League, shortstop Christian Colon was 16-for-50, .320, for Leones de Ponce and second baseman Irving Falu was hitting .256 in 11 games for Indios de Mayaguez.

Left-hander Ryan Dennick was 2-0 with a 1.56 in four starts for Mayaguez. Dennick was 6-5 this year, mostly in relief for Northwest Arkansas.

Down under, outfielder Carlo Testa had a .361 (13-for-36) mark for the Melbourne Aces in the Australian League.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals, Justin Marks