KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have had great success with one player from the 2008 American Heritage High School team that won a Florida state championship, so they figured they'd pick up another.
The Royals added Double-A pitcher J.C. Sulbaran in a trade that sent closer Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati on Tuesday, also acquiring Minor League pitcher Donnie Joseph. Sulbaran was a teammate at American Heritage with current Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
"He's very good. He gave me a state championship my senior year," Hosmer said. "He's a guy with a real clean arm motion. I think, especially after facing Felix [Hernandez] the other day, he's got a lot of tendencies like him. I think he's a great young pitcher that's going to help this team in the future.
"Obviously, I haven't seen him play in a while because he signed the same time as me and we never played against each other in any leagues. But I just remember him in high school, and I'm hoping he gets up here soon. He had the stuff in high school and now -- we gave up Broxton for a guy like that -- he's progressed and done pretty good. It'll be fun to see him in Spring Training."
Sulbaran went 11-1 that season and pitched a winning outing in the state semifinal game. Hosmer said he has kept in touch with Sulbaran and the two trained together during their first offseason. He's never faced Sulbaran as a professional, and that won't be changing any time soon.
He evaluated his former teammate as the type of player the Royals often look for.
"He's the type of guy that Dayton [Moore] drafts in the organization," Hosmer said. "He's got a lot of leadership qualities, and he works real hard off the field. We've given up a guy like Broxton for him, you know he's got to be progressing well."
Sulbaran was born in Curacao, and he was a member of the Dutch national team that scored a pair of upsets over the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Sulbaran's Classic wasn't that great personally, though, as he had a 10.12 ERA in 2 2/3 innings of work.