The Kansas City Royals farm system consists of seven Minor League Baseball affiliates across the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Four teams are independently owned, while two—the Arizona Complex League Royals and two Dominican Summer League Royals teams—are owned by the major league club.

The Royals have been affiliated with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League since 1969, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization among teams not owned by the Royals.[1] It is also the longest affiliation in team history. Their newest affiliates are the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League and the Columbia Fireflies of the Florida State League, whichh became affiliates in 2021.[1]

Geographically, Kansas City's closest domestic affiliate is the Omaha Storm Chasers, which are approximately 169 miles (272 km) away. Kansas City's furthest domestic affiliate is the Arizona Complex League Royals some 1,057 miles (1,701 km) away.

Key

League champions

2021–present

The current structure of Minor League Baseball is the result of an overall contraction of the system beginning with the 2021 season. Class A was reduced to two levels: High-A and Low-A. Low-A was reclassified as Single-A in 2022.[2]

Year Triple-A Double-A High-A Single-A Rookie League Foreign Rookie
2022 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Quad Cities River Bandits Columbia Fireflies ACL Royals DSL Royals 1
DSL Royals 2
2021[3] Omaha Storm Chasers[3] Northwest Arkansas Naturals†[3] Quad Cities River Bandits†[3] Columbia Fireflies[3] ACL Royals Blue
ACL Royals Gold
DSL Royals 1
DSL Royals 2

1990–2020

Minor League Baseball operated with six classes from 1990 to 2020. The Class A level was subdivided for a second time with the creation of Class A-Advanced. The Rookie level consisted of domestic and foreign circuits.[4]

Year Triple-A Double-A Class A-Advanced Class A Class A Short Season Rookie League Foreign Rookie
2020 Omaha Storm Chasers[5] Northwest Arkansas Naturals[6] Wilmington Blue Rocks[7] Lexington Legends[8] Idaho Falls Chukars[9]
Burlington Royals[10]
AZL Royals
DSL Royals 1
DSL Royals 2
2019 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks† Lexington Legends† Idaho Falls Chukars†
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals 1†
DSL Royals 2
2018 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends† Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals 1
DSL Royals 2
2017 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2016 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2015 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2014 Omaha Storm Chasers† Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2013 Omaha Storm Chasers† Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Lexington Legends Idaho Falls Chukars†
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2012 Omaha Storm Chasers Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Kane County Cougars Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2011 Omaha Storm Chasers† Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Kane County Cougars Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2010 Omaha Royals Northwest Arkansas Naturals† Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2009 Omaha Royals Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2008 Omaha Royals Northwest Arkansas Naturals Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees† Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2007 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
Burlington Royals
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2006 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers High Desert Mavericks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2005 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers High Desert Mavericks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2004 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Idaho Falls Chukars
AZL Royals
DSL Royals
2003 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees AZL Royals 1†
AZL Royals 2
DSL Royals
2002 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Spokane Indians GCL Royals DSL Royals
2001 Omaha Golden Spikes Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Burlington Bees Spokane Indians GCL Royals DSL Royals
2000 Omaha Golden Spikes Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Charleston Alley Cats Spokane Indians GCL Royals DSL Royals
1999 Omaha Golden Spikes Wichita Wranglers† Wilmington Blue Rocks† Charleston Alley Cats Spokane Indians GCL Royals DSL Royals
1998 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks† Lansing Lugnuts Spokane Indians† GCL Royals DSL Royals
1997 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Lansing Lugnuts† Spokane Indians GCL Royals DSL Royals
1996 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks† Lansing Lugnuts Spokane Indians GCL Royals
1995 Omaha Royals Wichita Wranglers Wilmington Blue Rocks Springfield Sultans Spokane Indians GCL Royals†
1994 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Wilmington Blue Rocks† Rockford Royals Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1993 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Wilmington Blue Rocks Rockford Royals Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1992 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Baseball City Royals Appleton Foxes Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals†
1991 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Baseball City Royals Appleton Foxes Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1990 Omaha Royals† Memphis Chicks† Baseball City Royals Appleton Foxes Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals

1968–1989

The foundation of the minors' current structure was the result of a reorganization initiated by Major League Baseball (MLB) before the 1963 season. The reduction from six classes to four (Triple-A, Double-AA, Class A, and Rookie) was a response to the general decline of the minors throughout the 1950s and early-1960s when leagues and teams folded due to shrinking attendance caused by baseball fans' preference for staying at home to watch MLB games on television. The only change made within the next 27 years was Class A being subdivided for the first time to form Class A Short Season in 1966.[4]

Year Triple-A Double-A Class A Class A Short Season Rookie League
1989 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Baseball City Royals
Appleton Foxes
Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
DSL Royals
1988 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Baseball City Royals
Appleton Foxes
Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1987 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Fort Myers Royals
Appleton Foxes
Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1986 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Fort Myers Royals Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1985 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Fort Myers Royals† Eugene Emeralds GCL Royals
1984 Omaha Royals Memphis Chicks Fort Myers Royals
Charleston Royals
Eugene Emeralds
1983 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals
Charleston Royals
Butte Copper Kings
GCL Royals
1982 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals
Charleston Royals
Butte Copper Kings
GCL Royals
1981 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals
Charleston Royals
GCL Royals Blue
GCL Royals Gold
1980 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals
Charleston Royals
GCL Royals Blue†
GCL Royals Gold
1979[11] Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals GCL Royals Blue
GCL Royals Gold
1978 Omaha Royals† Jacksonville Suns Fort Myers Royals GCL Royals
1977 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Daytona Beach Islanders GCL Royals
1976 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Waterloo Royals GCL Royals
1975 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns Waterloo Royals† GCL Royals
1974[12] Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns San Jose Bees
Waterloo Royals
GCL Royals
GCL Royals Academy
1973 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns San Jose Bees
Waterloo Royals
Billings Mustangs
Kingsport Royals
GCL Royals
1972 Omaha Royals Jacksonville Suns San Jose Bees
Waterloo Royals
Billings Mustangs†
Kingsport Royals
GCL Royals†
1971 Omaha Royals Elmira Royals San Jose Bees
Waterloo Royals
Billings Mustangs
Kingsport Royals
GCL Royals†
1970 Omaha Royals† San Jose Bees
Waterloo Royals
Billings Mustangs
Kingsport Royals
1969 Omaha Royals† High Point-Thomasville Royals
Waterloo Hawks
Corning Royals
Winnipeg Goldeyes
Kingsport Royals
1968 High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms Corning Royals

References

  1. ^ a b "Kansas City Royals Minor League Affiliates". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e Flanagan, Jeffrey (December 9, 2020). "Royals invite four '21 Minors affiliates". MLB. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cronin, John (Spring 2013). "Truth in the Minor League Class Structure: The Case for the Reclassification of the Minors". The Baseball Research Journal. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "Storm Chasers, Royals Extend PDC Through 2022". Ballpark Digest. March 26, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "Naturals, Royals Extend Affiliation Through 2022". Ballpark Digest. January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Blue Rocks, Royals Extend Affiliation Through 2020". Ballpark Digest. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Legends, Royals Announce Affiliation Extension". Ballpark Digest. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  9. ^ Reichard, Kevin (September 2, 2018). "Chukars, Royals Extend Player Development Contract Through 2020". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Reichard, Kevin. "Affiliate Dance". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Official Baseball Dope Book. St. Louis, Missouri: The Sporting News, 1979.
  12. ^ Official Baseball Dope Book. St. Louis, Missouri: The Sporting News, 1974.