T-Bones Have a Busy Spring Break
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Kansas City T-Bones announced a flurry of moves today, capping a busy spring break. The headline is the return of infielder Ryan Brett for the 2019 season, a key member of the 2018 Championship club. Kansas City also traded right handed pitcher Pasquale Mazzoccoli to Rockland (Can-Am League) for a player to be named later and began the week by signing catcher Roy Morales following the release of catcher Adrian Nieto.
Ryan Brett returns to Kansas City where he played the final 27 games of the 2018 Championship season for the T-Bones. Brett was a difference maker from the moment he set foot in the T-Bones clubhouse. In in his first game in a KC jersey, he went 2-for-3 with a key RBI in a 4-2 win over Grand Prairie on August 6th. Brett would come up big for Kansas City, going 24-for-61during the final 13 games of the season. That stretch was part of the run to the post season as the club clinched its first playoff spot since joining the American Association in 2011 and its first since 2009. Brett would score 14 runs over the 13-game span for KC.
The playoffs did not slow Brett down. He would go 15-for-37 in two post-season series with a home run and five RBIs, scoring six runs. After going hitless in his first playoff game against Sioux City, he would then hit in the next eight games to close out the post season. That included a six-hit night in an 11-4 win over St. Paul on September 11th in game one of the championship series and going a combined 5-for-8 in back-to-back wins over Sioux City in game two and three of the division series. For the season Brett hit .336, going 38 for 113, scoring 24 runs, driving in nine runs, and stealing seven bases in seven attempts for the T-Bones.
Brett joined the T-Bones on August 6, 2018 from the Chicago White Sox organization where he spent 10 games at AAA Charlotte in the International League but spent the bulk of 2018 at AA Birmingham in the Southern League. At AA Brett hit .265 in 47 games with three home runs and 15 RBIs. He spent 10 games with the AAA Knights and went 2-for-30 in limited action.
Brett was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 3rd round of the MLB draft in 2010 out of Highline High School in Burien, Washington. He debuted at the rookie level Gulf Coast League, playing in 27 games and hitting .303 with nine RBIs and then making the next jump up the ladder to the Appalachian League the next season with Princeton. Brett hit .300 in 64 games with three home runs and 24 RBIs, and he added 21 stolen bases.
The climb continued in 2012 where Brett played in 100 games with six home runs, driving in 35 runs with a .285 average. The following season, the Washington state native would make three stops in the Rays organization, reaching AA for the first time in his career. In the AA Southern League Brett would play in 25 games for Montgomery, hitting .238 with three homers and 16 RBIs while adding another 51 games at High A Charlotte. While with the Stone Crabs, Brett would play 51 games with four long balls and 22 RBIs, hitting at a .340 clip. His combined average of .301 earned Brett a spot in the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2013 where he would go 8-for-52 in 16 games at Salt River.
Brett made the AA club out of spring training in 2014 and played in 107 games with the Biscuits, hitting eight home runs while knocking in 38 runs with a .303 average. His 27 stolen bases led the club and was good for second in the league. He would finish 12th at the plate in the league-just behind names like Kris Bryant (#1), Corey Seager (#2) and Micah Lamb (#6). Brett would score a team-leading 64 runs in a break-out season for the Rays organization.
In 2015 Brett opened the season at AAA Durham but was promoted to the Big Leagues on April 18th and would appear in three games, going 2-for-3. He injured his shoulder against the Boston Red Sox and spent the rest of the season at AAA. In 84 games at Durham, he would hit .247 with five homers and 30 RBIs. He missed all of 2016 following the injury and signed a minor league deal with Tampa for 2017 where he played in a combined 20 games between AAA Durham and AA Montgomery, hitting .284. Brett signed another league deal with the Texas Rangers for 2018, but he was released in spring training and then inked by the White Sox where he played that year.
Pasquale Mazzoccoli spent the entire 2018 season with the T-Bones, posting a 4-2 record with a 4.52 ERA with 46 strike outs on the year. He would make three spot starts for Kansas City and would pitch another 24 in relief in 2018. Mazzoccoli would earn the name of "magic man" on September 2nd at Gary. The righty would work two scoreless innings where he magically worked out of two jams with the winning run at third base to preserve a playoff-clinching win over Gary in 14 innings.
Mazzoccoli was a Pirates 35th round pick in 2016 out of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He would join Bristol in the Appalachian League after the draft in 2016, pitching 26.2 innings with 21 strike outs. Last year Mazzoccoli began the season with five scoreless innings in the New York-Penn League at West Virginia before going 3-1 with West Virginia in the South Atlantic League in 25.2 relief innings. Combined for the season, the Katy, Texas native would strike out 35 batters in 34.2 innings pitched.
Roy Morales comes to KC from the Miami Marlins organization where he was the 12th round pick in the 2014 June Amateur Draft out of Colegio Angel David High School in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. In five professional seasons, Morales is a career .272 hitter in 208 games with two home runs and 70 RBIs. Last season he played 46 games for Jupiter in the Florida State League, hitting at a .255 clip with 13 RBIs for the Hammerheads. Morales had his 2017 season shortened to 30 games because of a suspension by the Commissioner's office. He would hit .288 in 17 with a home run and 15 RBIs at Jupiter.
Morales spent all of the 2016 season at Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, the low A affiliate of the Marlins. He would drive in 21 runs with one long ball while hitting .288. His 2015 campaign was split between two stops in the Miami organization. He played in 14 games at Greensboro where he hit .182 to start the season, and he would later move to short season A Batavia in the New York-Penn League where he played in 33 games and hit .311 with 14 RBIs. In his rookie season, Morales played in 25 games at rookie level Gulf Coast League with seven RBIs and put up a .224 average in his first pro season.
Adrian Nieto was one of only three position players for the T-Bones to spend the entire season with Kansas City and one of two starters from the opening night lineup to finish the season with KC. His .313 average was fifth on the team, and he was fourth in RBIs (44) and walks (34) for Kansas City. His 91 hits were third on the club, and his .313 average was a career high for the native of Cuba.
Nieto, born in Havana and raised in Florida, came to the T-Bones following a 2017 season where he played 68 games between AA Pensacola and AAA Louisville in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Nieto was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 Major League Draft out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida by the Washington Nationals. The Chicago White Sox selected Nieto in the 2013 Rule 5 draft as the third pick overall, and he would spend the entire 2014 season with the "big club," serving as the backup to Tyler Flowers. For the season, Nieto hit .236 with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages, as well as mini plans, are on sale now online, by calling (913) 328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke's Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale now. Wyandotte County residents will be able to purchase individual game tickets beginning Tuesday, March 19th at 10:00 am and the General Public on Thursday, March 21st. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday May 17th at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones host the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks to open the 2019 season.
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American Association Stories from March 18, 2019
- Explorers Re-Sign Big Bat for 2019 - Sioux City Explorers
- T-Bones Have a Busy Spring Break - Kansas City T-Bones
- Saints Solidify Middle of Infield with Re-Signing of Shortstop Joey Wong - St. Paul Saints
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