Slugger Adolfo, Local Pitcher Gavin Sign With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City Monarchs have added another power bat and an exciting local prospect to their 2023 roster.

Former White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo and Parkville native Grant Gavin have signed with the American Association club, the team announced Wednesday.

Adolfo brings more power to Monarchs’ lineup

An outfielder with a great throwing arm and plenty of pop in his bat, Adolfo was a highly-regarded prospect with the White Sox.

The 26-year-old was ranked as high as No. 8 in the club’s system by and staying in the top 10 as recently as 2021. He originally signed with the White Sox as a 16-year-old in 2013.

“Micker’s a great person and a great talent,” said Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra. “He’s young, strong, and has power to all fields.”

The native of the Dominican Republic spent the 2022 season with Triple-A Charlotte, hitting 15 home runs and 18 doubles over 96 games. He owns a career .246/.315/.431 slash line in affiliated baseball.

Adolfo, whose first name is pronounced “MY-ker,” has long drawn praise for his work in the field, especially his throwing arm.

Born in San Pedro de Macoris, Adolfo played winter ball in his home country for Estrellas in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. He suited up for Aragua in the Venezuelan league this past winter.

Adolfo is the third position player on the Monarchs’ 2023 roster, joining outfielder Jacob Robson and first baseman Gio Brusa.

“We’ve been successful on the pitching end, but to find another high-level position player at this point in the offseason is a big help,” Calfapietra said.

Local star Gavin headed back to KC

Born in Parkville, Gavin was drafted by his hometown Royals in the 29th round in 2016 out of the University of Central Missouri.

A workhorse reliever in his affiliated career, the right-hander was in Double-A by 2018. In 2019, he threw 41 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, earning a 3.61 ERA and striking out 12.6 batters per nine innings. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A Omaha for the next affiliated season in 2021.

The Padres selected Gavin in the Rule 5 Draft ahead of the 2022 season. He made 46 appearances last season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso, striking out just over 10 batters per nine innings.

Gavin is the third KC-area pitcher the Monarchs have signed this offseason.

Zach Matson, who was born in Fayetteville and went to Sherwood High School, signed on February 23. Dalton Moats, who was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, followed him to the Monarchs on February 28.

Gavin, Moats and Matson have all reached Triple-A in their affiliated careers. Calfapietra says their shared experiences will help them form a bond in the clubhouse.

“When you get guys at the same level, that always helps,” Calfapietra said. “When you get guys from the same city, that connection is even deeper. They mesh, because they’ve not only played with each other, but they’ve had similar experiences.”

The club opens its season on Friday, May 12, on the road. The Monarchs’ 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.