Mitch Maier Named Royals Director of Baseball Operations

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KANSAS CITY, MO (December 3, 2019) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that former player and coach Mitch Maier has been named the Club’s Director of Baseball Operations. In his role, Maier will be involved in all areas of the Baseball Operations Department.

“We’re extremely delighted that Mitch is going to transition into this very important role,” Royals’ Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore said. “He is a terrific leader and person who is highly respected throughout the baseball community and brings a wealth of experience as a Major League player and coach to our Baseball Operations Department. Mitch will be involved in all aspects of leadership.”

Maier, 37, previously served as the Royals’ first base coach the last two-plus seasons, taking over for Rusty Kuntz near the end of the 2017 campaign. He’s also worked with the Royals’ outfielders and baserunners. In 2019, Kansas City finished second in the Majors with 117 steals, which included a career-high 43 thefts by Adalberto Mondesi, who also finished second in the big leagues. In 2018, Whit Merrifield topped the Majors with 45 steals. Prior to taking the job at the Major League level, Maier served as the Royals’ minor league outfield/base running coordinator in 2017.

“It’s a great opportunity to grow within this game and grow within this organization,” said Maier. “I’m excited to transition into this new role and look forward to continuing to contribute to the Kansas City Royals.”

Maier played in parts of six Major League seasons with the Royals, after being selected by Kansas City in the first round (30th overall) in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder batted .248 with 36 doubles, 14 triples, 10 homers, 122 runs scored and 15 steals in 359 career games with the Royals (2006-12). He spent all but one professional season in the Royals’ organization, playing for Pawtucket (AAA) in 2013, before retiring as a player following a season with Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2014. A native of South Lyon, Mich., Mitch and his wife, Karrie, reside in Stilwell, Kan., with their children, Avalynne, Preston and Stella.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.