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NW Arkansas to participate in Texas League All-Star Game

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 11, 2013) - Texas League president Tom Kayser announced today that four players and the coaching staff from Northwest Arkansas will participate in the 77th annual league All-Star Game, June 25, at the Naturals' Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. Right-handed pitcher Yordano Ventura was also selected to the Texas League All-Star team, but will not participate after being promoted to AAA on June 3. Northwest Arkansas is the Kansas City Royals' AA affiliate that plays in the North Division of the Texas League.

Royals' farmhands Orlando Calixte (SS), Mitch Canham (C), Angel Franco (IF) and Santiago Garrido (RHP) will represent Northwest Arkansas at the All-Star Game for the North Division squad. Naturals' coaching staff, manager Brian Poldberg, pitching coach Jim Brower, hitting coach Nelson Liriano, trainer Masa Koyanagi and conditioning coach Nate Dine will also be the coaching representatives for the North Division team.

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Calixte, who signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, is batting .256 with 12 doubles, 3 triples and 21 runs scored this season. He is the Royals' No. 5 prospect according to MLB.com. After a slow start, Calixte hit .304 in May with 6 doubles and 10 runs scored during the month. The shortstop has gone 2-for-6 with a pair of runs scored in the current series against Arkansas.

Canham, who signed with the Royals as a free agent this offseason, is hitting .288 with 11 doubles, a homer and 17 RBI in 41 games. He's hit safely in all seven games during the month of June, going 10-for-27 (.370) with a double and 2 RBI. The catcher, who will be a reserve for the North Division All-Stars, is batting .391 (25-for-64) at his home ballpark this season.

Franco, who signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, is batting .281 this season with 3 homers, 17 RBI and 5 stolen bases. He got off to a hot start, batting .301 in April and is 5-for-17 in his first 6 games during the current month. He is 4-for-10 with an RBI double in the current series with Arkansas.

Garrido, who signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, has posted a 2.67 ERA and an 0-3 record in 17 relief appearances this season. He has surrendered just two earned runs in his last 10 appearances, spanning 15.1 innings. Garrido has fanned 22 in 30.1 innings out of the bullpen, while holding left-handed hitters to a .182 batting average.

Ventura, who signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, was ranked as the No. 10 prospect in Kansas City's organization by MLB.com following the 2012 season. After going 3-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 11 starts at Northwest Arkansas, Ventura was promoted to AAA Omaha on June 3. He held opponents to a .189 batting average at the AA level this season, while recording 74 strikeouts in 57.1 innings. Ventura was a Carolina League All-Star last season.

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