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