A former Clarinda A’s player has signed a professional contract.
Kale Emshoff played for the A’s in 2017 and signed with the Kansas City Royals’ organization, Sunday, June 14 as an undrafted free agent.
Emshoff started at catcher for the A’s and led the club with six home runs and 27 RBIs. He also won the MINK League’s Home Run Derby that summer.
After a strong season in Clarinda, he took that momentum into his sophomore season at Arkansas-Little Rock, where he hit .273, a 59-point increase from his freshman season.
He had plans to play in the Cape Cod League in 2018, but hurt his elbow. He eventually needed Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2019 season at Little Rock.
He returned to Arkansas-Little Rock’s roster in 2020 and was playing very well before the NCAA shut down the season because of COVID-19 health concerns. In 17 games, Emshoff hit .417 with seven home runs.
Clarinda A’s manager Ryan Eberly had good memories of the Robstown, Texas, product.
“The biggest thing I remember was his work ethic and he was here for the right reasons,” said Eberly. “He wanted to get better and to learn and he’s a super person besides a pretty good ball player.”
Eberly said Emshoff developed some pop that summer that helped him win the league’s home run derby. He was also selected to the league all-star game.
“He has an open mind and is willing to listen and try new things,” said Eberly. “That’s what separates him. He’s a great kid and very coachable.”
Eberly’s brother Rod and wife Cassie were Emshoff’s house parents that summer, and Rod echoed what his brother had to say about Emshoff’s baseball skills. He also had the opportunity to get to know Emshoff off the field and had high praise for him.
“He’s the type of kid you want your daughter to go out with,” Rod said. “He’s a respectful man and we were lucky to have him all summer. He played a lot with our twin boys, who were almost two at the time and was great with the kids. He’s come back a couple times to see the family.”
Emshoff was part of a group of seven undrafted free agents officially announced by the Royals, Tuesday, June 23.