The KC Royals farm system has been depleted of arms in the past couple of years, but some bright spots still remain down on the farm.
One of these bright spots happened on Thursday night. After struggling in his first career AAA start, KC Royals prospect Josh Staumont threw one of the more impressive games in recent history that I’ve seen from a minor leaguer.
Arguably the KC Royals best pitching prospect, Josh Staumont is starting to get on a groove the past year or so.
Drafted out of Azusa Pacific University in California in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft, the Royals saw a lot of raw potential out of the hard throwing righty.
More from Kings of Kauffman
- KC Royals: No seismic moves announced by tender deadline
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: Any help in San Diego?
- KC Royals: Let the Ryan O’Hearn Watch begin…again
- KC Royals Roster Moves: 3 players added, 1 re-signed
- KC Royals News: Awards, a new coach, and more
He made his pro ball debut shorty after being drafted, where he quickly found success in a relief role down in the Rookie League. The Royals then got very aggressive with Staumont, putting him on the High-A roster to start 2016.
Staumont struggled their, posting a 5.05 ERA in 18 appearances. The Royals player development stayed aggressive with Staumont though, promoting him to AA when he clearly had issues to work on.But it ended up looking like a great decision. In AA, Staumont went berserk. In 50.1 innings, Staumont strikes out 73(!) batters, while posting a 3.04 ERA.
Across every minor league level last year, Staumont was first in K/9 among 676 pitchers with at least 50 innings at 12.03. There’s a silver lining though. Staumont was also first in BB/9, with 7.33.
Staumont started to pick up some hype in the Arizona Fall League last year. Here is what Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs had to say about him.
"We’re through parts of two pro seasons for Staumont and his struggles with control remain. His inefficiency, coupled with a delivery that doesn’t efficiently utilize his lower half, have many convinced that Staumont’s future role lies in a bullpen. In the Arizona Fall League he sat 94-97 with his fastball, touching as high as 99 with a comfortably plus low-80s curveball that looks like it’s done descending but then keeps dropping and dropping until it’s underneath barrels and in the dirt. These two pitches, in concert with another, could be dominant in a relief role, especially if the fastball velocity ticks up into the upper 90s in shorter stints."
After pitching a couple games in spring training this year, the KC Royals sent him down to the more hitter friendly Pacific Coast League, as he would be pitching for the Omaha Storm Chasers.
His first Storm Chasers start went rough, giving up 7 runs in 3.1 innings. But it’s his second start that got everyone talking.
The second time Staumont took the hill he may of pitched the best game of his short career. Staumont pitched 6 innings scoreless, giving up 1 hit, striking out 12. Possibly the most impressive thing is that he only walked two batters. Flame emoji.
After a start like this, you can start to envision him in Kansas City soon. Whether it’s a rotation or bullpen role, Staumont should be a very interesting watch, as he will either be striking someone out, or walking them.
I still see him as a capable starter. I don’t think his control gets much better in the bullpen. That could change, but I think he could fulfill either role.
His control will need to continue to improve if he wants to make a real difference in the majors. If he can shave more off of that BB/9, watch out Royals fans.