The Kansas City Royals announced that they have signed minor league free agent Francisco Pena.
Here is their press release:
Catcher Francisco Pena, son of former Kansas City manager Tony Pena and brother of former Royals player Tony Pena Jr., has signed a Major League contract with the organization and was added to the 40-man roster, the club announced Sunday. He was a Minor League free agent.
Pena, 24, has spent his seven-year career in the Mets’ farm system and divided last year between Triple-A Las Vegas and Double-A Binghamton. In 68 games for Las Vegas, he batted .257 with 15 doubles, nine homers and 39 RBIs. He caught 57 games, making just four errors and throwing out 15 of 50 runners on base-stealing attempts.
Also known as “Frankie,” Pena is a right-handed hitter who batted .236 in 593 Minor League games for the Mets with 40 homers and 243 RBIs.
His father Tony was a former catcher who managed the Royals in 2002-05, compiling a 198-285 record before resigning in May 2005. Before this year, Pena’s 2003 team had the Royals’ only winning record (83-79) since 1994. He has been the Yankees’ bench coach for the last five years.
Tony Pena Jr. was the Royals’ regular shortstop in 2007, batting .267, but then went to a utility role for the next two years and decided to become a pitcher. This year, he posted a 5-8 record in 33 games (nine starts) for the White Sox’s Triple-A club at Charlotte.
Pena was signed at 16 years old by the Mets in 2007 as an International Free Agent and performed well for Vegas last season with Travis d’Arnaud out for most of the season.
He spent a few years as a Mets top prospect before sliding down, and became a free agent at the end of this season along with 15 other Met minor leaguers.
Interesting that Royals scouts saw enough to recommend an MLB contract to their front office.