Two integral components of the 2021 American Association Champion Kansas City Monarchs are now members of the Kansas City Royals organization. Infielders Ryan Grotjohn and Morgan McCullough signed with the Royals organization this week after participating in a Royals camp at the Royals Spring Training complex in Surprise, Arizona over the weekend.
2021 American Association Manager of the Year, Joe Calfapietra said – “We are very excited as an organization when any of our players get opportunities to fulfill their dreams and get second chances and sometimes even third opportunities back with Major League affiliates. Both of these players work extremely hard to get this opportunity and we wish them nothing but great wishes moving forward”.
Ryan Grotjohn played four positions for the American Association Champion Kansas City Monarchs including 82 at second base. Hit .329 for the campaign good for second on the ballclub. Ryan had a 13-game hitting streak and 21 game getting on base streak. Had a career high 10 home runs on the season and a 6 RBI game in June. The 2021 American Association All Star led the club with 6 triples while his 55 walks was second on the team. Was 12 for 12 in stolen bases and second on club in stolen bases. His .436 on base percentage led the club. In the 2021 playoffs Grotjohn hit .304 with a home run and a double, scoring 9 runs and driving in 3.
“All of this is very surreal – feels like this was 2 years in the making, starting from the 2020 COVID season getting cancelled and in 2021 getting released. Now it is all finally paying off” said Grotjohn. “Covid changed everything in 2020 and playing in Kansas City and Puerto Rico solidified the plan. My fiancé and I fell in love with Kansas City – there is nothing sweeter.
We can’t thank the Monarchs enough for all the love and support. Having Joe (Calfapietra) there after I was released is such a blessing – he helped me through everything. We are super grateful”.
After starting the season at catcher for the Monarchs, McCullough settled in over as the everyday shortstop in 2021. He hit for a club leading .333 batting average and was in the race for the League batting title as the season ended. The Pure Performance American Association Rookie of the Year led the club with 31 multi-hit games. Was the ball club’s leadoff hitter for 41 games during the second half of the season. The 2021 season saw McCullough hit a career-high 13 home runs.In the 2021 playoffs McCullough hit .345 with 4 RBI, scored 9 runs with 4 doubles in 6 games.
“I have nothing but great things to say about my time with the Monarchs last season” said McCullough. “Everyone from the front office to the coaches and my teammates were so supportive, it is such a blessing. I am very excited and ready – Kansas City has been very good to me – it is a very special place” added the shortstop.
“As demonstrated by the 69-31 regular season record and 6-0 playoff sweep, the Monarchs had many many very important players on the 2021 roster. These two Ryan and Morgan, were in many cases the reason the Monarchs were the Champions of the American Association. While they are two great ballplayers, they are certainly very different people who teamed up to add a special chemistry to our clubhouse. Put them together and that is the best middle infield in the league right there” said team owner Mark Brandmeyer.
The Monarchs will open Training Camp on May 5 and the home opener will be Friday May 13 versus 2021 divisional playoff foe Sioux City. The entire schedule, theme nights, and scheduled entertainment can be found monarchsbaseball.com
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The Monarchs are a member of the American Association of Profession Baseball play all home games at Legends Field at 1800 Village West Parkway in Kansas City, Kansas. For ticket information, call (913) 328.5618 or visit monarchsbaseball.com.