Monarchs Sign Local Product Sprinkle, Italian Lefty Pinazzi

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — An Overland Park native and former Central Missouri star is one of two new signings for the Kansas City Monarchs.

The reigning American Association champions have signed pitchers Jonathan Sprinkle and Nicolò Pinazzi for the 2024 season. See the team’s full roster here.

Sprinkle is a former Astros prospect with three years of pro experience. His last two seasons have come at the Double-A level. The right-hander carries an impressive 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his pro career.

Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said Sprinkle’s three-quarter arm slot helps deceive opposing hitters.

“We think Jonathan’s going to be unique in the pitching repertoire that we have,” Calfapietra said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him pitch for us.”

Pinazzi is a former Reds prospect who pitched for Class A Daytona in 2023. He struck out 12.3 batters per nine innings for the Tortugas that season.

“Nicolò’s strikeout numbers are extraordinary,” Calfapietra said. “He fits in well to what we’re building in Kansas City.”

The Monarchs’ 2024 roster features a number of pitchers with local ties. Dalton Moats and Grant Gavin both went to high school in Kansas City. Jackson Goddard and Zach Leday played college ball at Kansas. Jacob Cantleberry played for the University of Missouri in his college career.

Sprinkle played three seasons at CMU from 2018 to 2020. He earned First-Team All-MIAA honors as the Mules’ closer in 2019, recording 10 saves with a 2.23 ERA.

With the 2020 draft severely shortened due to the pandemic, Sprinkle signed with the Astros as an undrafted free agent.

Sprinkle was promoted twice in his first pro season in 2021, making Double-A Corpus Christi in August. He allowed one earned run in 10.1 innings of work in Double-A that season.

Sprinkle returned to Corpus Christi for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns, striking out double-digit batters per nine innings in each of the two seasons.

Born in Milan, Pinazzi signed with the Reds in 2020 and made his pro debut in 2021. He earned a 2.60 ERA in the Arizona Complex league that season.

The lefty would spend most of 2022 in the ACL, striking out an eye-popping 15.2 batters per nine innings. He made one appearance for Class A Daytona in 2022.

Pinazzi split 2023 between Arizona and Daytona, posting a 12.5 K/9 between the two clubs.

For more on the Monarchs’ 2024 roster, visit MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.

Former KU Closer Leban Signs With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former KU closer with a wicked slider is coming to the Kansas City Monarchs.

The Monarchs have signed right-hander Zack Leban to a contract for the 2024 season as they defend their American Association title.

The 27-year-old joins the Monarchs after four seasons with the Marlins system, reaching Triple-A in 2021 and 2023. He owns a 10.0 K/9 in his four-year MiLB career.

“Zack can strike guys out, he has the velocity and a good slider, a good strikeout pitch,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He could be a special arm for us.”

The Monarchs’ home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

Leban earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors at Kansas in 2018, his third year with the Jayhawks. He led the Big 12 that season with 12 saves. He was teammates with fellow Monarchs signee Jackson Goddard at KU.

The Marlins drafted Leban in the 12th round in 2018. He’d make it to Triple-A by 2021, reaching that level again in 2023. Leban struck out 11.1 batters per nine innings in 12 Triple-A appearances this past season.

Leban pitched in Puerto Rico in the 2023-24 winter season, posting a 2.38 ERA over 11 relief appearances with Ponce.

For more information on the Monarchs’ 2024 roster, visit MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.

 

Triple-A First Baseman Tostado Signs With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A power hitter with a great glove is heading to the Kansas City Monarchs for the 2024 season.

The Monarchs have signed Triple-A first baseman Frankie Tostado to a contract. A former Giants and Nationals prospect, Tostado has 60 home runs and 82 doubles over 5 minor-league seasons. The California native has earned two MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors while with the Giants.

He and the Monarchs will play their first home game of 2024 on May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

“Frankie’s a guy we’re really excited about,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s a very good defensive first baseman, has some power, can play a little outfield. We’re looking forward to welcoming him to Kansas City.”

Tostado made his Triple-A debut in 2023, his first year with the Nationals after an offseason trade. He belted 14 home runs and 19 doubles over 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2023.

A multi-sport athlete in high school, Tostado impressed in his freshman year at Oxnard College in California. Tostado produced a .333 batting average and 1.007 OPS, blasting 10 home runs in 40 games.

That earned him a call from the Giants, who drafted Tostado in the 19th round of the 2017 draft. He made his pro debut in the Arizona League at age 20.

Tostado hit 18 home runs in his first full pro season, at Class A Augusta. He posted a .740 OPS over 128 games.

After missing 2020 due to the pandemic, Tostado made his Double-A debut in 2021. In 101 games with Richmond, Tostado hit 14 home runs and 18 doubles with a .249 batting average and .731 OPS.

Tostado returned to Double-A the following season, improving his OPS to .789 and hitting another 11 homers in 77 games. He missed the tail end of the season with a hand injury.

The Mariners picked Tostado up off of waivers on December 7, then traded him to the Nationals the next day. He began 2023 with Double-A Harrisburg before being called up to Triple-A Rochester in September.

For more information on the Monarchs’ 2024 roster, visit MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.

Tickets For Less Named Official Ticket Marketplace Of The Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – There’s a new, easy way to buy Kansas City Monarchs tickets, with no per-ticket fees.

The Monarchs have partnered with Tickets For Less, making TFL the Official Ticket Marketplace of the Monarchs starting with the 2024 season.

Select tickets to every Monarchs game will be available through Tickets For Less with no per-ticket service fees at checkout. The price you see is the price you pay.

“We’re excited to offer fans a great new way to experience Monarchs baseball,” team owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “Tickets For Less is an outstanding local company, and we’re proud to join their impressive roster of ticket options for Kansas City sports fans.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with another championship team whose roots run deep in Kansas City,” said Adam Rossbach, president at TFL. “We’re looking forward to working with the Monarchs on their ticketing strategy and helping fuel their continued success.”

Originally founded in Overland Park, Tickets For Less sells tickets to all of the region’s biggest events, including top-level baseball, football and soccer games as well as a wide array of concerts. TFL is the Official Ticket Marketplace of the Big 12 Conference.

The Monarchs are the reigning champions of the American Association of Professional Baseball. Their 2024 home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Monarchs Partner With Nebraska Furniture Mart

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs have announced a new partnership with Nebraska Furniture Mart as the Official Furniture Partner of the Kansas City Monarchs.

The partnership includes activations at NFM’s location in Kansas City, co-marketing between the two organizations, and much more. The deal also includes new state-of-the-art televisions for the concourse at Legends Field. NFM will also sponsor the Monarchs’ popular concourse lounges throughout the stadium.

“We’ve been happy to have NFM as neighbors just around the corner here in KCK. Now we’re thrilled to make them our Official Furniture Partner,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “This agreement will strengthen two great Kansas City institutions. Plus, we look forward to watching plenty of Monarchs wins on our new concourse TVs!”

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Kansas City Monarchs. Our organizations share a passion for engaging with our local community and providing an inclusive, welcoming environment for all to enjoy,” said Nastasia Williams, Store Director for NFM Kansas City.

Located just down the street from Legends Field on Village West Parkway, Nebraska Furniture Mart’s Kansas City location has everything shoppers need or want to make their house a home. That includes furniture, home decor, appliances, electronics and more.

The Monarchs’ home opener is May 16 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. Monarchs fans can find schedule, ticket and roster information at MonarchsBaseball.com.

About NFM

Nebraska Furniture Mart, as originally named, was founded by Rose Blumkin in 1937 in the basement of her husband’s pawn shop in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1983, investor Warren Buffett purchased a majority interest in NFM and made it part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Today, NFM is one of the nation’s largest home furnishings retailers, selling furniture, flooring, appliances and electronics. NFM currently has locations in Omaha, Nebraska, Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas City, Kansas and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas with a planned fifth location in Cedar Park, Texas a suburb of Austin. For more information on NFM, visit www.nfm.com.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Triple-A Bat, Hard-Throwing Righty Join Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two more impact players have signed with the Kansas City Monarchs in their quest to repeat as American Association champions.

Josh Bissonette, an infielder who played in Triple-A with the Pirates last season, and former Red Sox pitching prospect Nate Tellier have signed with the Monarchs for 2024.

The Monarchs now have 12 players signed for the 2024 season, which begins May 10. The club’s home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bissonette, 27, joins the Monarchs directly from Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pirates organization. He played 51 games in Indy in 2023, earning a solid 23/34 BB/K ratio while posting a .600 OPS.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things about Josh as a ballplayer, but I’m even more impressed by him as a person,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him in Kansas City.”

The Anaheim Hills, California native was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 31st round after four years at Baylor, where he earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors in 2018. He owns a .230/.317/.296 slash line in four affiliated seasons.

Tellier, 25, comes to Kansas City from the Red Sox organization, where he pitched in big-league spring training earlier this year.

“Nate is a high-strikeout guy with some good velocity,” Calfapietra said. “He has a good rising fastball that misses bats. He should be a nice piece in our pitching staff.”

Tellier was a two-way star at UMass-Dartmouth (NCAA Division III) from 2017 to 2020. The right-hander left the Corsairs with a 2.68 ERA and .342 career batting average.

The Attleboro, Massachusetts native signed with his hometown Red Sox in 2020, making his pro debut in 2021. He posted a 2.31 ERA over 15 relief appearances in that debut season, splitting time between rookie ball and Class A Salem.

Tellier was promoted to High-A Greenville in 2022 and spent all of 2023 with that organization. He’s struck out 12.1 batters per nine innings over 72 career MiLB appearances.

For more on the Monarchs’ 2024 roster, head to MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.

Power Bat Ortiz Signs With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Plenty of power hitters have impressed in a Kansas City Monarchs uniform. Jhailyn Ortiz may be the next one.

The 25-year-old former Phillies prospect has signed with the reigning American Association champions for the 2024 season.

An outfielder and first baseman who posted an .862 OPS in Triple-A in 2023, Ortiz joins an organization that has led the league in home runs in each of the last three seasons.

Ortiz is the second position player to join the Monarchs’ 2024 roster. Cameron Cannon, a teammate of Ortiz last year, re-signed with Kansas City after joining the team late in 2023.

The Monarchs open their 2024 season on May 10, on the road. Their home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We think Jhailyn can be an impact player,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s a power bat; he can play multiple positions. We’re excited to see him in camp.”

Born in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, Ortiz arrives in Kansas City after seven seasons in the Phillies’ system, two of which netted league All-Star honors. He’s also played in big-league spring training for four straight seasons, most recently in 2023.

Ortiz split the 2023 season between Double-A and Triple-A. His batting average at the Triple-A Lehigh Valley was .269 to go with 5 homers and his impressive OPS in 32 games.

The righty hitter’s breakout year came in 2017, his second pro season. He posted a .302 average and a .961 OPS and eight homers in 47 games with Low-A Williamsport, earning New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star honors. Baseball America ranked Ortiz as Philadelphia’s No. 7 prospect entering the 2018 season.

The Phillies promoted Ortiz to Class A Lakewood for 2018 and High-A Clearwater for the 2019 season. He missed 2020 due to the pandemic.

Ortiz produced another outstanding year in 2021, now at High-A Jersey Shore. Over 74 games with the Blue Claws, Ortiz delivered an .879 OPS and 19 home runs along with a .262 batting average. That was enough to earn a promotion to Double-A Reading, where he played 21 games with a .683 OPS. He was named a South Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star.

Ortiz played a full season with Double-A Reading in 2022, hitting 17 home runs while producing a .237 batting average and .734 OPS over 119 games.

He finished 2022 in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, hitting three home runs in 14 games and participating in that league’s Home Run Derby.

Ortiz also played one game with Escogido in the Dominican Winter League in the 2022-23 season.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Gluten-Free Concessions Coming To Monarchs Games Thanks To Three Bears Bakery

Offerings include hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and more

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kansas City Monarchs fans can enjoy gluten-free concessions in 2024, thanks to a partnership with Three Bears Bakery KC.

Three Bears Bakery, which specializes in low-carb, sugar free and gluten free baked goods, will provide gluten-free options for every Monarchs home game in 2024. The new options include gluten-free hot dog and hamburger buns, gluten-free pizza and other snacks.

“Outstanding ballpark food is an integral part of our stadium experience. Today is a great day for fans looking for a gluten-free way to enjoy our great offerings at Legends Field,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with Three Bears Bakery, a growing and thriving business from right here in our backyard.”

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to serve our community with the Monarchs family,” Three Bears Bakery owners Jabin and Natalie Olds said. “We were founded by the desire to provide families with alternative food choices and couldn’t be happier to be part of this organization, building an experience the whole family can enjoy. We had so much fun in 2023, we can’t wait for the 2024 season to begin.”

The new concessions options will be available at all 50 of the Monarchs’ home games, starting with the home opener on May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. The club’s season runs through August, with potential playoff games in September.

The Monarchs are the reigning champions of the American Association of Professional Baseball and have finished with the league’s best regular-season record each of the last three years.

2024 is a special year for the Monarchs organization. In partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the Monarchs are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs over the Hilldale Club in 1924. The celebration exemplifies the Monarchs’ mission to honor the past and welcome the future of baseball in Kansas City.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Monarchs Partner With Dairy Farmers of America

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have announced a new and exciting partnership, beginning with the 2024 baseball season.

The partnership, which impacts many aspects of the two organizations, is focused on a shared commitment of supporting the Kansas City community.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with the Monarchs. While neighbors in Kansas City, Kan., both of our organizations are dedicated to actively supporting the entire Kansas City community, celebrating the rich history of the city and its citizens and showing what an impact we can make together,” said Jenny Hofeditz, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at DFA. “We also look forward to employees at our KC headquarters supporting this partnership through volunteer opportunities and other experiences at Legends Field.”

DFA will be the presenting sponsor of the Monarchs’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Greek Night, Friday, Aug. 23. The annual event celebrates the rich history of the Negro Leagues on a night dedicated to HBCUs and historically Black Greek organizations.

DFA will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Los Monarchs Days at Legends Field, Sunday, May 19, Sunday, June 9, Sunday, July 29 and Sunday Aug. 25. For four Sunday home games, the Monarchs will wear special themed uniforms to honor the Hispanic and Latino community in Kansas City and beyond — the games will also feature performances by traditional dancers.

“We’re thrilled to partner with DFA. Our organizations’ shared commitment to community makes this a perfect match,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “Our team is proud to call Kansas City, Kan., home and joining forces with such a revered local institution strengthens our bond with this great community.”

2024 is a special year for the Monarchs organization. In partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the Monarchs are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs versus the Hilldale Club in 1924. The celebration exemplifies the Monarchs’ mission to honor the past and welcome the future of baseball in Kansas City.

The modern Monarchs are defending their own title. They won the 2023 Miles Wolff Cup as champions of the American Association of Professional Baseball.

The Monarchs’ 2024 home opener is Thursday, May 16, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

About DFA

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving nearly 11,000 family farm-owners, DFA manufactures a variety of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, dairy ingredients and more that connect our Cooperative’s family farms to family tables with regional brands such as Alta Dena® Dairy, Meadow Gold® Dairy, Friendly®’s, Borden® Cheese, Plugrá® Premium Butter and Kemps® to name a few. On a global scale, we work with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients their customers are craving, while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit dfamilk.com.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

McAffer Brings Electric Stuff To Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A right-hander with eye-popping stuff is joining the Kansas City Monarchs’ pitching staff.

Will McAffer, a former Blue Jays prospect with a mid-90s fastball, has signed with the Monarchs for the 2024 season. He previously pitched in the American Association with Winnipeg in 2022, earning a 1.54 ERA and 12.3 K/9 over 12 relief appearances.

McAffer and the Monarchs are defending the American Association championship. The team’s home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

“I saw Will when he was in Winnipeg. He was a coveted, dynamic arm,’ Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s got a power arm and a good slider. We’re excited to have him.”

2024 will be McAffer’s seventh pro season. The right-hander has struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings in his professional career.

A native of North Vancouver, Canada, McAffer played college ball at South Dakota State and Central Arizona College before playing his junior year at Tulane.

The Blue Jays drafted McAffer in the 25th round out of Tulane in 2018. He made his pro debut that year with his hometown Vancouver Canadians, posting a 3.58 ERA in 21 games.

McAffer was promoted to Class A Lansing for 2019, and made his High-A and Double-A debuts in 2021. He was back in Vancouver (now a High-A team) for the start of the 2022 season before heading to Winnipeg in August.

The Royals signed McAffer in January 2023, and he was with the club through March of that year. He played his full 2023 season with the York Revolution in the Atlantic League, posting a 4.87 ERA and 9.3 K/9 over 27 relief appearances.

McAffer is a member of the Canadian national team, including playing in the WBSC U-18 World Cup in 2015 from Japan. Most recently he took part in the PanAm Games Americas Qualifier, teaming up with 2023 Monarch Jacob Robson.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.