Love For The Game Helps Herrmann Lead Monarchs Hot Streak

Photo: Madison Reibel / Kansas City Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Before Chris Herrmann arrived with the Kansas City Monarchs, he wanted to know what he was getting into.

A veteran catcher who played parts of eight seasons in the major leagues with the Twins, Diamondbacks and others, he’d never played in the American Association.

So he reached out to Matt Adams, a fellow MLB veteran who starred for the Monarchs in 2022.

Adams’ response was clear: He fell in love with baseball again in his time with Kansas City.

“When he said that, it really hit close to my heart with why I even play this game to begin with,” Herrmann said. “It’s because I love this game; it’s been so good to me.”

That love has powered Herrmann to what he’s called the best month of his professional career.

Herrmann led the American Association with a .431 average in the month of May, placing second with a 1.359 OPS. He hit seven home runs, which tied for second in the league, and drove in a league-best 27 runs.

Perhaps most impressive, Herrmann did all that as the Monarchs’ primary catcher. He caught every inning of 15 of Kansas City’s 18 games in the month, including the last 12 consecutive games amid an injury to fellow catcher Gavin Collins.

There have been technical adjustments too. Herrmann worked to simplify his swing in the offseason, minimizing his leg kick. He credits working with Jeremy Eisenhower, a Kansas City native now coaching in Herrmann’s hometown of Tomball, Texas.

“I give a lot of credit to him for kind of re-vamping my swing,” Herrmann said. “I feel very confident with it.”

He’s also made mental adjustments at the plate.

“The biggest key is just swinging at strikes,” Herrmann said of his hot hitting. “If it’s in the zone, I’m gonna be ready to hit.”

That approach has paid off. Herrmann struck out just 11 times over the month of May. He struck out more than once in only one of his 17 games.

Most importantly, he’s emerged as a leader of a Monarchs team that has been hitting its stride in the quest for a fourth straight division title.

“If it weren’t for my teammates my stats wouldn’t be what they are,” Herrmann said. “It’s a group effort, it’s not just me or any one person.”