Monarchs Sign Local Product Sprinkle, Italian Lefty Pinazzi

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — An Overland Park native and former Central Missouri star is one of two new signings for the Kansas City Monarchs.

The reigning American Association champions have signed pitchers Jonathan Sprinkle and Nicolò Pinazzi for the 2024 season. See the team’s full roster here.

Sprinkle is a former Astros prospect with three years of pro experience. His last two seasons have come at the Double-A level. The right-hander carries an impressive 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his pro career.

Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said Sprinkle’s three-quarter arm slot helps deceive opposing hitters.

“We think Jonathan’s going to be unique in the pitching repertoire that we have,” Calfapietra said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him pitch for us.”

Pinazzi is a former Reds prospect who pitched for Class A Daytona in 2023. He struck out 12.3 batters per nine innings for the Tortugas that season.

“Nicolò’s strikeout numbers are extraordinary,” Calfapietra said. “He fits in well to what we’re building in Kansas City.”

The Monarchs’ 2024 roster features a number of pitchers with local ties. Dalton Moats and Grant Gavin both went to high school in Kansas City. Jackson Goddard and Zach Leday played college ball at Kansas. Jacob Cantleberry played for the University of Missouri in his college career.

Sprinkle played three seasons at CMU from 2018 to 2020. He earned First-Team All-MIAA honors as the Mules’ closer in 2019, recording 10 saves with a 2.23 ERA.

With the 2020 draft severely shortened due to the pandemic, Sprinkle signed with the Astros as an undrafted free agent.

Sprinkle was promoted twice in his first pro season in 2021, making Double-A Corpus Christi in August. He allowed one earned run in 10.1 innings of work in Double-A that season.

Sprinkle returned to Corpus Christi for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns, striking out double-digit batters per nine innings in each of the two seasons.

Born in Milan, Pinazzi signed with the Reds in 2020 and made his pro debut in 2021. He earned a 2.60 ERA in the Arizona Complex league that season.

The lefty would spend most of 2022 in the ACL, striking out an eye-popping 15.2 batters per nine innings. He made one appearance for Class A Daytona in 2022.

Pinazzi split 2023 between Arizona and Daytona, posting a 12.5 K/9 between the two clubs.

For more on the Monarchs’ 2024 roster, visit MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.