KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two of the Kansas City Monarchs’ top pitchers from 2022 are back for the upcoming season.
In one of the club’s biggest moves of the offseason so far, All-Stars Matt Hartman and Jordan Martinson have both re-signed with the American Association team, the Monarchs announced Tuesday.
All-Star Starter Hartman Back In The Fold
Hartman made a name for himself as one of the top pitchers in the American Association at the start of the 2022 season.
You know things are going well when you give up 1 run over 6 innings and your ERA goes up.
1.61 ERA / 50.1 IP / 62 K’s
— Kyle Rogers (@KyleRogers18) July 9, 2022
Hartman got off to a scorching start to the 2022 campaign, starting in the Monarchs’ bullpen and moving into the starting rotation in mid-June. The righty entered the All-Star break with a 1.60 ERA over 14 games (six starts), enough to earn him the starting nod for the West Division team.
Hartman got the ball in one of the most important games of the Monarchs’ season: the penultimate game of the year against Fargo-Moorhead. With Kansas City needing a win to keep their hopes of a division title alive, Hartman threw six shutout innings with just three hits allowed. The Monarchs won the game 12-3 and took the season finale the next day to clinch their third straight division crown.
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) July 3, 2022
For the full 2022 season, Hartman posted a 4.71 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 99.1 innings. Batters hit just .232 against him for the year.
“Overall, Matt had a really good season for us,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “I’m excited to see him with another year under his belt and more time to stretch out”
Hartman made his winter ball debut this past winter for Monterrey in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. In 13 starts, Hartman delivered a 3.62 ERA and 1.30 WHIP on a team that featured six former major leaguers.
Undrafted out NAIA Westmont, Hartman signed with the Braves and spent three seasons in their system, making it as high as Double-A Mississippi in 2021. He owns a 5-8 record and 4.53 ERA in 35 affiliated games (17 starts).
Fans can hear from Hartman on the next episode of Reign Reborn with Carter Woodiel, airing Wednesday at noon on the Monarchs’ Facebook page.
Reliable Arm Martinson Returns
Martinson was one of the Monarchs’ most important bullpen arms in 2022. In 45 appearances (second-most on the team), Martinson earned a 3.39 ERA and .222 opponents’ batting average.
Jordan Martinson says see you later and strands one to hold the Monarchs lead ❄️
Monarchs: 2️⃣ pic.twitter.com/K9u2pSmXF6
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) July 15, 2022
That included an impressive start to the season where the lefty allowed just one run in his first 14 appearances. He earned a spot in the AAPB All-Star Game, throwing 0.2 scoreless innings for the West Division side.
Martinson also made four appearances during the Monarchs’ playoff run, allowing one earned run in 4.1 innings.
“Jordan’s a strike thrower, a guy that we went to in a number of different situations,” Calfapietra said. “He’s able to get right-handers and left-handers out, so we always felt comfortable with him in the game.”
Life comes at you fast…
Unless you're Jordan Martinson. pic.twitter.com/FBYBcC6fc1
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) July 3, 2022
Martinson played four years of college ball at Dallas Baptist University. As a senior in 2019, he set a D1-era program record with 115 strikeouts in 16 starts (100 innings pitched). He finished the campaign with a 2.61 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on a team that made the NCAA Tournament.
As a senior, Jordan Martinson set a DBU single season record with 115 strikeouts. Jordan struck out 276 batters in his four-year career, the most in program history. pic.twitter.com/dQbXMK0RJx
— DBU Baseball (@DBU_Baseball) June 5, 2019
An 11th-round draft pick by the Mets in 2019, Martinson did not come to an agreement with New York and instead signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He quickly moved up their system, suiting up for Triple-A Oklahoma City in just his second pro season in 2021. He played all of 2022 with the Monarchs.
In the fall of 2022, Martinson joined Team Germany in a World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament. Martinson tossed 2.2 innings in the event, allowing one unearned run.
Most recently, Martinson played with the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League, posting an impressive 2.31 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 in 22 relief appearances.
Hartman and Martinson are the second and third 2022 Monarchs pitchers to return to the club for the 2023 season. Alex Valdez, who served as the team’s closer down the stretch last year, re-signed with the Monarchs on January 18.
The Monarchs open their 2023 season on May 12 on the road. The club’s home opener is set for May 19. Fans can check out the team’s full roster at MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.
About the American Association
The American Association of Professional Baseball played its first season in 2006. It is a professional partner league that is affiliated with Major League Baseball but not specifically with any one team. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the South 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.
About the Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. This year, they are celebrating their 20th year of baseball 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. The Monarchs won ten Negro American League championships and two Negro League World Series championships in their history. The team featured numerous notable players over the years, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Buck O’Neil.