KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Gio Brusa put on a show at the plate last season, mashing 16 home runs in 80 games and starting in the American Association All-Star Game.
To the switch-hitting first baseman, that was only the beginning.
“I learned so much more about myself and my craft, and I really took it into my offseason this year,” the California native said. “I think I have a lot more to offer than I even showed last year.”
He’ll be showing off his hard work in a Kansas City Monarchs uniform. The club has re-signed Brusa for the 2023 season.
— Lake Country DockHounds (@DockHounds) July 13, 2022
The Monarchs acquired Brusa in a trade with the Lake Country DockHounds on August 7, 2022. Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said he was impressed watching him at the plate from the opposite dugout.
“He had tremendous bat control; he didn’t strike out much; he hit the ball to all fields from both sides of the plate,” Calfapietra said. “He showed power, but also showed great discipline.”
Gio Brusa with a center-field home run! Lets go Dockhounds! pic.twitter.com/A9lZqKYbJ0
— Lake Country DockHounds (@DockHounds) July 20, 2022
“It’s a great group of guys,” Brusa said of the Monarchs. “Joe is a great guy to play for. I learned so much just in the one month that I was with Kansas City.”
The 29-year-old is the second position player on the Monarchs’ roster for 2023. The other: former major leaguer Jacob Robson.
Brusa said he learned a lot from Robson last season, where the two were Monarchs teammates for the last month of the campaign.
“I got the most out of him for those four or five weeks we were together,” Brusa said. “To have another season with him is great.”
Gio Brusa unleashed the hounds.
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) July 24, 2022
The San Francisco Giants drafted Brusa in the sixth round in 2016 out of Pacific University. Brusa has made it as high as Triple-A in four affiliated seasons.
One of the highlights of Brusa’s career came in 2018, when he and San Jose Giants teammate Jalen Miller hit for the cycle in the same game.
Gio Brusa and Jalen Miller of the San Jose Giants both hit for the cycle in the same game pic.twitter.com/WdX8iwmHTX
— Bush Leaguer (@BushLeague101) April 12, 2018
Brusa joins a Monarchs club aiming to win its fourth straight division championship. Along with Robson, the club’s roster also features former big leaguer Ryan Castellani and returning closer Alex Valdez.
The Monarchs season opens on Friday, May 12 in Sioux City. The club’s home opener is set for Friday May 19.
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.