Monarchs Sign Former Royals Prospect

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former Royals prospect with a live arm and high-level experience is coming to the Kansas City Monarchs.

The American Association club signed right-hander Yefri Del Rosario to a contract for the 2024 season, the team announced Friday.

“This is an exciting signing,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “Yefri had great numbers in Double-A, he has strikeout potential, he should be a high-velocity guy. When you put all that together it can really add up to something great”

Rosario is the sixth player the Monarchs have signed for 2024. Five are pitchers, including 2023 league All-Star and Parkville native Grant Gavin. See the team’s full roster here.

“We’re excited with our roster, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Calfapietra said.

Born in Miches, Dominican Republic, Del Rosario initially signed with the Atlanta Braves in July 2016. He made his pro debut the following season, pitching mostly in the Gulf Coast League.

The 24-year-old was one of 13 Atlanta prospects who became free agents in November 2017 after the Braves were penalized for violating international signing rules. The Royals signed him in December 2017.

Del Rosario impressed in his first year with his new organization, earning a 3.19 ERA with Class A Lexington over 15 starts. He struck out a career-high nine batters in his first career playoff start to finish off the season.

The right-hander missed the 2019 season with injury, though he did throw simulated games in that year’s fall instructional league. He did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic. He returned to action in 2021 with Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Del Rosario’s Triple-A debut came in 2022. Moving to a relief role full-time, he earned a 2.70 ERA over 9 games at the Triple-A level that season, spending the rest of the campaign in Double-A.

Back in Double-A for 2023, Del Rosario delivered a 3.12 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 39 relief outings. He struck out 11.3 batters per nine innings over that span.

Del Rosario has pitched in his native Dominican Republic for three winter league seasons, suiting up for Gigantes Del Cibao in the 2020-21, 2022-23 and 2023-24 campaigns.

The Monarchs’ hope opener is May 16 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. More information at MonarchsBaseball.com.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field 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. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions 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.