Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
14. Nolan Watson
The second of the Kansas City Royals first round draft picks this past year, Nolan Watson did not seem impressive given his overall numbers. Pitching for the Burlington Royals, Watson posted a 0-3 record with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.705 WHiP, recording only 16 strikeouts in his 29.1 innings of work. This certainly was not the debut that the Royals had hoped for.
However, those overall numbers are a bit deceptive. While Watson did have his struggles, most of the damage was done in two of his eleven outings. In those two appearances, spanning a total of two innings, Watson allowed ten runs on seven hits and three walks. Ignoring those two disastrous outings, Watson had a 1.98 ERA and a 1.463 WHiP, a performance closer to what one would hope for from a top selection.
The key for Watson going forward may be how well he can develop his secondary pitches. His fastball was considered a solid enough offering when he was drafted, but he needed to develop his other offerings. If he can improve those pitches, and harness the occasional moments when he loses his command, Watson could make huge strides forward over the next couple of years.
Statistically, it was a rough debut for the Kansas City Royals second first round selection. Yet, this could prove to be quite the learning experience for Nolan Watson.
Next: A tale of two halves