KoK Prospect #11: Chris Dwyer


Chris Dwyer checks in at #11 on the 2010 Kings of Kauffman prospect list.

Who: Christopher Paul Dwyer
DOB: 4/10/1988  Swampscott, Massachusetts
Position: LHP
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Acquired: 2009 Draft (4th round)

~ Baseball America #9
~ Diamond Futures #12
~ Royals Review #11
~ The Royal Tower #9b
~ John Sickels C+
~ Baseball Prospectus #9


2009Idaho Falls (Rk)

Dwyer is the first 2009 draft pick to crack my top 17.  As a 21-year old draft eligible freshman he was a bit of a rarity but first round talent is first round talent regardless of the packaging.  Dwyer had significant leverage in negotiations since he could return to school and his demands scared a lot of teams off.  Fortunately when it comes to spending money in the draft and international markets, the Royals have morphed into one of the more aggressive teams in all of baseball.  Unphased by Dwyer’s bonus expectations, Kansas City grabbed him in the fourth round and paid him $1.45 million to sign.  Coupled with Wil Myers and Aaron Crow, the team wound up with three legitimate 1st round talents in their draft class despite not having a pick in the second round.

Dwyer’s selection was a bit of a gamble because he will turn 22 years old next month and has only one year of college experience and 8.2 professional innings.  His lack of experience could work in the team’s favor.  Since he is far less refined than most pitchers his age, what Dwyer has shown to this point could be just scratching the surface.  He already features a low-90s fastball and impressive curveball which both profile to be plus pitches.  He also has a better changeup than most pitchers his age, regardless of experience.  If you’re keeping track, that’s three pitches that figure to be plus or average offerings at the major league level.  With such a high degree of talent comes a great deal of risk however.  With his limited experience Dwyer is very raw and will require a lot of coaching and instruction to get him to a point where he can repeat his delivery and harness his control.  This risk is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he is an excellent athlete who was a star quarterback in high school.  If he is coachable he should be able to make the necessary adjustments and move through the system quickly as a result.

The thing that Dwyer needs most at this point in time is to simply log professional innings and gain experience.  Like Wil Myers, it was long reported that the Royals had agreed to terms with Dwyer well before the signing deadline.  Thanks to Bud Selig’s aversion to over slot deals, Chris and the Royals were stuck waiting for the commissioner’s office to approve the deal.  Since that didn’t occur until right before the deadline, Dwyer’s 2009 professional experience was limited to just 8.2 innings of work at Idaho Falls.  It was a showcase of the good and the bad.  In the limited sample he flashed his electric stuff but also a lack of control and inconsistency in terms of locating his pitchers.  Right now Dwyer is a thrower, but if he can evolve into a pitcher and stay healthy, the Royals could have something truly special on their hands.

He got to dip his toes in the waters of the Pioneer League last season.  Baseball America, Diamond Futures, and The Royal Tower anticipate the Royals will send him to Wilmington.  While he will need to move quickly to make up time, I think he would be better served by opening 2010 in the rotation for the low-A Burlington Bees pitching alongside John Lamb.  With his stuff he could survive in Wilmington, but with the work ahead of him in terms of his mechanics, control, and consistency, the smarter move is without question sending him to Burlington, Iowa.  If he has success and shows improvement with the Bees a mid-season promotion to the Blue Rocks would certainly be appropriate.

(Wally Fish is the lead blogger for Kings of Kauffman and FanSided’s MLB Director.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)