KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two more exciting arms are joining the Kansas City Monarchs pitching staff, including a hometown product.
Lefty Zach Matson and right-hander Ruben Garcia have signed with the American Association club, the Monarchs announced Thursday.
“We’re excited to welcome these two great pitchers to our organization,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “They’re both going to help us tremendously in the upcoming season.”
MATSON TO THE MONARCHS
Matson, 27, was born in Fayetteville, Missouri and grew up in the Kansas City area. A former Orioles, Rockies and Pirates prospect, Matson’s most recent pro action came at Triple-A Indianapolis. He finished the season in that club’s rotation before joining the Monarchs as a free agent.
Big K from Zach Matson to finish the 5th!
We lead the 'Wolves, 3-1!
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) May 8, 2022
Calfapietra says Matson “has the full package,” on and off the mound.
“Zach’s stuff is great, of course,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said, “But his competitiveness, and the desire and the willingness to continue to go at it; that’s something I feel you need, and he has that.”
The Crowder College product is entering his seventh professional season, and first in the American Association. He sports a 3.92 ERA and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings over his professional career.
This is the second time Matson has signed a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs. He originally inked a deal with the club on April 2, 2021, before having his contract transferred to the Rockies organization later that month.
GARCIA READY FOR ACTION
Garcia, 26, is a hard thrower from the right side. The Florida native has played for four different MLB organizations, making it as high as Double-A. He most recently pitched for the Atlantic League’s Charleston Dirty Birds at the close of the 2022 season. He has allowed only nine home runs in his six-year professional career.
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) June 27, 2021
Garcia was originally drafted by the Orioles in the 14th round in 2016 out of Eastern Florida State College. He made it as high as Class A Delmarva with the O’s, posting a 2.15 ERA in 18 appearances with the Shorebirds in 2019.
He would move to the Tigers organization in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft in the winter of 2019, earning a promotion to Double-A Erie. In December 2021 he was on the move again, picked up by the Astros organization in that year’s minor league Rule 5 Draft.
After a brief stint with the Royals organization in 2022, Garcia signed with the Dirty Birds on August 8, making 11 appearances down the stretch for the club.
The @kscitymonarchs roster is already turning heads! Broke down the big names the Monarchs have signed for 2023 on the season premiere of Reign Reborn.
Some big names here, including former MLBers @JakeRobson7 and Ryan Castellani.
— Carter Woodiel (@CarterWoodiel) February 23, 2023
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.