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Fireflies Officially Welcomed to Royals Family

February 12, 2021 - Low-A East League (Low-A East) - Columbia Fireflies News Release


COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia Fireflies today announced that the team has signed a 10-year Player Development License (PDL) with the Kansas City Royals to become their Low-A affiliate through 2030.

The Royals are just the second Major League team to be associated with the Fireflies. The New York Mets had been affiliated with the Minor League Baseball team in Columbia since 1983 as the Columbia Mets (1983-1992), the Capital City Bombers (1993-2004) and the Fireflies (2016-2020), sending players to the South Carolina's Capital for more than 25 seasons. The last time Columbia's team was not affiliated with the Mets was the Columbia Reds, who played in 1960-61.

The Royals had been affiliated with the Lexington Legends since 2012 and had won back-to-back South Atlantic League Championships in 2018 and 2019.

"It is with great pride that we have been selected to be part of the Kansas City Royals family," said Fireflies Team President John Katz. "On behalf of the entire organization, we'd like to thank Royal's GM Dayton Moore and VP/Assistant GM J.J. Picollo for entrusting us to be part of the process of helping to build the future stars of the Royals right here in Columbia. Segra Park is a first-class facility, and we're excited to have a partner with such a rich pedigree in player development."

The Royals' farm system is already considered to be in the top-tier of talent-laden systems, and should only get better in the next few seasons. MiLB.com ranks their farm as the 11th-best in Baseball and Bleacher Report slides them into the 10th spot. A few highly-touted prospects who could end up in the Soda City in the near-future include baseball's eighth-best prospect, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who was picked second-overall in the 2019 draft and who last played rookie ball in 2019, and a dominant south paw, Asa Lacy, who went fourth overall in the 2020 draft.

"We are very excited to partner with the Columbia Fireflies organization as part of Major League Baseball's realignment," said Royals Vice-President / Asst. GM of Player Personnel J.J. Picollo. "It is an exciting time for the Kansas City Royals and we couldn't be happier to partner with Hardball Capital who is widely regarded as one of the best ownership groups in all of the minor league baseball. They have a first-class front office and their facility is one of the finest in all of professional baseball. We look forward to many great years in Columbia, SC."

The South Atlantic League has seen a bevy of talent come through the Royals system in recent years, including Seuly Matias, who socked 31 homers on his way to Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star honors in 2018. MJ Melendez showed similar displays of power in the Legends 2018 post-season run.

For more details about the Columbia Fireflies and the upcoming 2021 season, visit ColumbiaFireflies.com.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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