Fuenmayor targets injury rehab in November

Fuenmayor targets injury rehab in November

KANSAS CITY -- Royals prospect Balbino Fuenmayor, dubbed "The Great Balbino," plans to begin rehabbing from a torn ACL sometime in November with hopes of resuming hitting in early January.

Fuenmayor, 25, was a guest at Kauffman Stadium on Friday along with all the other Royals Minor League Award winners.

Fuenmayor, ranked as Kansas City's No. 28 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, has begun to take on legendary status among the Royals' fan base after posting remarkable numbers following being signed out of Independent ball last offseason. He suffered the torn ACL in early August while playing at Triple-A Omaha.

"It was the last play of the game," Fuenmayor said. "I got a guy in a rundown at first base and my cleats stuck in the dirt, and I twisted."

Fuenmayor, a first baseman, was the player of the year for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he hit .354 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs. After being promoted to Omaha, he hit .377 in 16 games.

Fuenmayor played in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati and wowed observers there with numerous tape-measure home runs in batting practice.

The Royals have indicated they plan on re-signing Fuenmayor in the offseason and he most surely will get a Spring Training invite.

"I can't wait to get going," he said. "I will start rehab in Arizona in November and then go home to Venezuela, and then come back to Arizona to start hitting on January 4th."

Fuenmayor struggled in Toronto's Minor League system, never rising above Class A before being released. He then played for Quebec in the Can-Am Independent League, where he earned player of the year honors.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.