Classic gives Yost chance to watch prospects

Royals will have six veterans leaving camp for international play

Classic gives Yost chance to watch prospects

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost sees the bright side of sending players to the World Baseball Classic in the middle of Spring Training: He'll get to see some of his younger players longer.

The Royals have six players on their 40-man roster committed to the Classic: first baseman Eric Hosmer, catchers Salvador Perez and Drew Butera, shortstop Alcides Escobar, left-hander Danny Duffy and reliever Joakim Soria.

In their absence, Yost will get to see several young catchers, such as Cam Gallagher, Parker Morin, Zane Evans and Chase Vallot, as well as veteran Brayan Pena, a non-roster invitee.

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Prospects Hunter Dozier and Ryan O'Hearn will get looks at first base while Hosmer is away.

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"Our young catchers wouldn't have an opportunity to play very much, because we'd be trying to get Drew [Butera] ready and Sal [Perez] ready," Yost said. "So we get to see our young first basemen and then see our younger shortstops like [Ramon] Torres and [Humberto] Arteaga.

"From that perspective, it's not a bad thing."

Yost will admittedly miss his key players, but he is supportive of their decision to take part in the Classic.

"I mean, do I want my players to go play the WBC? Nah, I'd rather have them here," Yost said. "But is it a cool thing to go play the WBC? Yeah, it's great to play for your country. I'd want to if I was a player."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.