Royals release four more minor leaguers

The Kansas City Royals on Saturday released four minor league players: pitchers Aaron Hartsock and Scott Kelley, and infielders Correy Figueroa and Tom Zebroski. The four full season affiliate rosters should be finalized on Wednesday or Thursday.

Aaron Hartsock was selected out of California Baptist University in the 23rd round of the 2006 draft. The young right-hander enjoyed a stellar minor league career with the organization, logging 29 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 274.2 career innings, all in relief. Armed with good command of an average fastball and a plus curveball, the 27-year-old ranked as the Royals' 37th-best prospect on our Top 60 prior to last season. Unfortunately for Hartsock, he suffered a bad knee injury late in camp, and he missed the entire 2010 season. He recovered in time to make three appearances in the Arizona Fall League, where he surrendered one earned run in 3.0 innings of work.

Scott Kelley, another former 23rd rounder, was acquired in the 2009 draft out of Penn State. After logging an impressive 0.87 ERA in 16 rookie ball appearances in 2009, he spent the entire 2010 season with Low-A Burlington. In 42 appearances for the Bees, the 24-year-old compiled a 1-3 record with three saves and a 3.84 ERA. Kelley fanned 50 batters in 68.0 innings of work, but he also walked 45.

The Royals signed Correy Figueroa as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The 23-year-old spent last summer in Idaho Falls, where he primarily played second base while hitting .209/.294/.209 in 91 at bats. Figueroa was once a draftee of the San Francisco Giants, who failed to sign the University of Tampa alum after selecting him in the 41st round of the 2008 draft.

Tom Zebroski (45th round) was the second of two George Washington University alums selected by the Royals in last year's draft. The 22-year-old shortstop was named as the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year last spring after hitting an impressive .429/.287/.733 with 18 home runs for the Colonials. After signing, Zebroski began his professional career with Idaho Falls, where he hit .243/.280/.338 with one home run and 18 RBIs in 40 games while primarily splitting his time between second and third base.

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