KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Brandon Finnegan left his mark on Kansas City baseball when he helped the Royals to an American League pennant in 2014. Now, he’s returning to KC to help the Kansas City Monarchs in their quest for another title.
The left-hander has signed a contract with the American Association club for the 2023 season, the Monarchs announced Tuesday.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing Brandon in a Monarchs uniform, seeing everything that he can do,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s still pitching at an extremely high level.”
The Monarchs have won three straight division titles in the AAPB, an MLB Partner League. The club has claimed two league championships, in 2018 and 2019. Their 100-game season starts on May 12 on the road, with the team’s home opener set for May 19.
Called up to the majors late in the 2014 season just months after being drafted in the first round, Royals fans remember Finnegan as a key piece of Kansas City’s bullpen down the stretch.
That included the Royals’ epic victory over Oakland in the 2014 AL Wild Card Game. After the Royals rallied from four runs down to send the game to extra innings, Finnegan put up scoreless frames in the 10th and 11th to keep his club in the game. The Royals went on to win 9-8.
Later that postseason, Finnegan achieved an unprecedented feat: pitching in College World Series and MLB World Series in the same year. Finnegan made it to Omaha with TCU that season, earning a sparkling 2.04 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over 17 starts for the Horned Frogs. Drafted 17th overall that summer, Finnegan moved to the bullpen and joined the Royals September 1 at the age of 21.
The Fort Worth, Texas native made 14 more appearances for the Royals in 2015 (2.96 ERA) while also spending time in Double-A and Triple-A. On July 26, he and two other pitchers were traded to Cincinnati for Johnny Cueto.
Finnegan spent the full 2016 season with the Reds. He delivered a 3.98 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 31 starts.
Finnegan remained with the Reds organization through the 2021 season. He spent last season with Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox system, where he was teammates with fellow Monarchs signee Micker Adolfo.
— OnBaseMachine (@RedsFan_Brandon) March 13, 2021
In all, the 30-year-old has made 67 MLB appearances (44 starts) with a 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 7.9 K/9.
Finnegan is the sixth major leaguer to sign with the Monarchs for the upcoming season. He joins pitchers Ryan Castellani, Carlos Sanabria, Jeff Singer and Patrick Weigel along with outfielder Jacob Robson.
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.
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.