Royals sign two-year agreement with the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League

The Kansas City Royals have signed a two-year player development contract though the 2012 season with the Kane County Cougars of the Class A Midwest League.  The Royals spent the 2001-2010 campaigns with the Burlington (Iowa) Bees.

“The Kansas City Royals are extremely excited to partner with the Kane County Cougars in signing a two-year Player Development Contract,” said Royals Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp.  “In the short time we have had to interact with the Kane County management team, it is clear that the atmosphere and environment that they provide will help us develop Major League players.  Kane County has a long history of community and fan support and the Royals are excited for our young players to be part of that history.”

“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with the Kansas City Royals,” said Cougars General Manager Jeff Sedivy.  “Although the decision to change affiliations is never an easy one, after spending some time with J.J. Picollo and Scott Sharp, we felt that the Royals and their philosophies about the minor leagues were a great fit for our franchise.  With the Royals player development philosophy, scouting, and player involvement in the community, we felt that they were a perfect fit for our great fan base.”

The Kane County Cougars are located in Geneva, Illinois, just a 45-minute drive from Chicago.  Kane County had been affiliated with the Oakland Athletics since the 2003 season.  The Cougars play their home games at Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium (capacity 7,400 with around 3,000 lawn seats).  The stadium underwent a $10.5 million renovation project that was completed in 2009.  The stadium was originally constructed in 1991, as the Cougars just completed their 20th anniversary season.

Kane County has consistently been among the elite in attendance in the Midwest League, drawing over 6,000 fans per game and topping the 400,000 mark for 17 straight seasons.  The Cougars have played in the postseason six of the past eight years and produced more than 100 players who have reached the Major Leagues.

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