T-Bones acquire catcher, pitcher in trades

The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have acquired catcher Jake Taylor and pitcher Kyle Brady in separate trades.

Taylor, who’s 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, comes to Kansas City, Kan., from St. Paul in exchange for a player to be determined. In 61 games for the Saints in 2014, Taylor batted .283 with 63 hits, including 10 doubles, a career-best nine home runs, and a career-high 34 RBIs.

In five professional seasons — all in independent baseball — Taylor, whom the Florida Marlins selected in the 35th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft, is a .270 career hitter with 21 home runs and 114 RBIs. Prior to spending last season in St. Paul, Taylor played two seasons (2012-13) with Sioux Falls, one season with Grand Prairie and one with Oakland County of the Frontier League.

“Jake is multi-position guy who can catch and provide some power offensively,” said T-Bones manager John Massarelli.

The T-Bones acquired right-handed pitcher Brady from River City of the Frontier League for pitcher Pat Doyle. In 2014 for River City, Brady, who’s 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, went 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA in 25 appearances.

In 59 2/3 innings he struck out 72 and walked 33. During 2013, Brady’s first professional season out of Wingate University, he went 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 40 games for the Frontier Greys.

“Kyle has an average major-league fastball, and he’ll come in to compete for a spot in the rotation,” Massarelli said. “As far as Pat, this gives him an opportunity to pitch at home, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

– Story from T-Bones

T-Bones named league’s ‘Organization of the Year’

The American Association announced Wednesday that the Kansas City T-Bones have been selected as the league’s “Organization of the Year” for the 2014 season.

The T-Bones have received the honor, which is awarded by the commissioner’s office, four times since moving to Kansas City, Kan., prior to the 2003 season.

“It’s our privilege to give Kansas City this award,” said American Association commissioner Miles Wolff. “From (owner) John Ehlert down, the T-Bones have always been a first-class organization, and one of the best-run clubs in our league.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said John Ehlert. “It’s a testament to the hard work that president Adam Ehlert, vice president and general manager Chris Browne, our entire front office staff and baseball staff put into each and every season. Of course, we’re grateful to our wonderful sponsors and fans who make all of this possible.”

The award is coming on the heels of the T-Bones finishing in the top five in average attendance among independent teams for the seventh consecutive season, and in the top 50 among more than 350 teams from the affiliated minor leagues, independent leagues and summer-collegiate leagues. In late July, the club welcomed its 3 millionth fan to CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

On the field in 2014 under manager John Massarelli, who was in his first year with Kansas City, the T-Bones finished 48-52, which was an eight-game improvement from 2013. The team finished in third place in the Central Division, 6 games behind division winner Lincoln. Along the way, reliever Kris Regas set the T-Bones single-season club record for saves with 22, and T.J. Mittelstaedt set a club record by reaching base in all 51 games at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The T-Bones continue to be active in the community, too. In addition to its popular youth reading program, the club has provided more than $700,000 to various Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation projects through the T-Bones Uncommitted Recreation Fund (TURF), which was created in partnership with the Unified Government when the T-Bones began play in Wyandotte County in 2003.

The T-Bones were awarded the “Organization of the Year” three times while in the Northern League (2004, ’07, ’10). This is the first time they’ve received the award since joining the American Association in 2011.

- Story from T-Bones

T-Bones rank fifth in independent baseball in 2014 attendance

For the seventh straight year, the Kansas City T-Bones were in the top five for average attendance in independent baseball, according to Ballpark Digest’s annual ranking, released earlier this week.

Ballpark Digest’s list lumps together 353 teams from the affiliated minor leagues, independent leagues and summer-collegiate leagues.

The T-Bones, who play at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan., finished 44th overall and fifth among independent teams on Ballpark Digest’s 2014 list with an average of 5,187 fans per game. Only two teams from the American Association — Winnipeg and St. Paul — and two from the Atlantic League — Sugar Land and Somerset — finished ahead of the T-Bones.

By comparison to the T-Bones’ overall ranking of 44, the Omaha Storm Chasers (triple-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals) were 31st (5,628) and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (the Royals’ double-A affiliate) were 60th (4,625). The Springfield Cardinals, St. Louis’ double-A affiliate, were three places behind the T-Bones at 47th with 5,134 fans per game.

After welcoming 248,989 fans to CommunityAmerica Ballpark in 2014, the T-Bones have totaled more than 200,000 fans during each of their 12 seasons in Kansas City, Kan. In late July, the club eclipsed the 3 million mark for total attendance in the club’s history.

“I’m proud again to be in the top five in independent team attendance, and especially appreciative of Kansas City baseball fans for their support,” said T-Bones president Adam Ehlert. “It’s really fun to see that in our brief 12-year history, we hit the 3-million fan milestone by averaging a quarter-million fans a year.”

The American Association and the T-Bones are expected to release their 2015 schedule in October.

“Our staff works awfully hard year to year and on a nightly basis, on and off the field, to keep the ‘Fun…Well Done’ atmosphere going, and the support from our fans shows,” said T-Bones vice president and general manager Chris Browne. “I can’t wait for 2015 to start.”
– Story from T-Bones