Nelson Velazquez of the Kansas City Royals hits against the New York Yankees in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Kansas City Royals right fielder Nelson Velazquez will play for the Criollos de Caguas in the 2023-24 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente season for a few games in December, the team announced on Wednesday.
Velazquez, 24, was born in Carolinas, Puerto Rico, and played in his first season with Criollos de Caguas during 2021-22. In 19 games, he made 73 plate appearances, batting .167 with 11 hits, two doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBI, four stolen bases, seven walks, and 20 strikeouts.
Prior to Velazquez’s first season with Caguas, he played in the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, winning the MVP Award and batting .385 in 26 games with 123 plate appearances, 40 hits, seven doubles, nine home runs, 24 RBI, 17 walks, and 34 strikeouts.
This past season, Velazquez split his time between Chicago Cubs and the Royals. He was traded to Kansas City on July 31, 2023, in a deal that sent right-handed pitcher Jose Cuas to the Windy City.
Velazquez played in 53 games with the Royals and Cubs in 2023, batting .235 with 179 plate appearances, 38 hits, six doubles, 17 home runs, 34 RBI, 14 walks, 51 strikeouts and a .888 OPS.
Velazquez also spent time at Triple-A Omaha and Triple-A Iowa, playing in 80 games with 353 plate appearances and batting .239 with 75 hits, 15 doubles, 16 home runs, 44 RBI, 33 walks, 103 strikeouts and a .757 OPS.
During the 2022 season, Velazquez played in 77 games with the Cubs, batting .205 over 206 plate appearances with 38 hits, seven doubles, three triples, six home runs, 26 RBI, five stolen bases, 19 walks, 65 strikeouts and a .659 OPS.
Velazquez also played in 56 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa batting .241 in 232 plate appearances recording 49 hits, 11 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs, 32 RBI, 12 stolen bases, 27 walks, and 83 strikeouts including a .859 OPS.
The Gigantes de Carolina, RA12, Cangrejeros de Santurce, Indios de Mayagüez, Leones de Ponce, and Criollos de Caguas are the teams that will play during the 2023-24 LBPRC season.
The Leones de Ponce will play against Criollos de Caguas on November 4 at Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales at 7:45 p.m. EDT.
All teams will start the season on November 4. The Indios de Mayaguez will play RA12 at 7:45 p.m. EDT at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on November 4 and the Cangrejeros de Santurce will play their first game of the 2023-24 LBPRC winter league season on November 4 on the road against the Gigantes de Carolina at Estadio Roberto Clemente at 7:45 p.m. EDT.
Individual team social media pages from the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente will have information on upcoming games to be streamed on their Facebook and YouTube pages.