Royals no. 11 rated prospect Josh Staumont continues his breakthrough with a dominant performance in Northwest Arkansas’ 4-0 win against the Midlands Rockhounds Thursday night.
The 4-0 victory for NW Arkansas allowed the Naturals to notch their first win of the Texas League Championship series which they trail two games to one. Josh Staumont pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8.
The results are great. But, Staumont’s improved control is what really matters. He has struggled to throw the ball over the plate his entire career. He’s finally throwing consistent strikes at age 22 after his promotion to AA.
His improved control is only a recent phenomenon. He’s allowed 10 walks in his last 34.1 innings (6 starts), for a 2.6 BB/9 and an overwhelming 13.6 K/9. Oh, yeah, Staumont has posted a 1.57 ERA over those six games.
The Naturals are the only KC Royals minor league affiliate to qualify for their league playoffs.
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Josh Staumont has always had outstanding stuff. He joined the Kansas City Royals organization after they selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft from Azusa Pacific University. Staumont led the NCAA in average fastball velocity, but walked over five batters per every nine innings. He also features a sharp curve and split fingered fastball as his change-up.
His fastball sits in the mid 90’s and can touch 102 when he’s used as a reliever. Due to his control problems, most analysts expected him to become a reliever at the major-league level. However, if he can develop even average command, he could become a major-league ace.
The KC Royals planned to send him to the Arizona Fall League after the end of his Texas League season. But, with the 74-72 Kansas City Royals all but dead in the playoff race, it might be tempting to see what he can do against major-league competition after the Texas League Championship Series.
Staumont’s numbers look good, but the issues are his command and his ability to record outs with his secondary pitches.
Staumont’s recent performances have turned him into a rotation candidate with Kansas City in 2017. Getting him a taste of major-league baseball while the KC Royals are still playing the 2016 season might be a good idea.