Kansas City Royals: Early Prediction of 2018 Starting Rotation

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Starting pitcher Jake Junis
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Starting pitcher Jake Junis /
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KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 4: Drew Butera
KANSAS CITY, MO -JUNE 4: Drew Butera /

Long Shots

Josh Staumont — A highly touted prospect, Staumont will be an interesting option for the 2018 rotation. He has failed to put together a memorable season in the minors thus far. But he continues to offer that incredible fastball clocked at over 100 MPH. Staumont will likely head back to Northwest Arkansas or Omaha after the spring to work on his command, but he may get a look with the big league club at some point in 2018.

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Sam Gaviglio — Gaviglio bounced around the league in 2017, and he pitched pretty well in his short stint with the Kansas City Royals. Gaviglio will naturally be in the rotation competition by being in the right place at the right time. His relatively unknown ability will make him an interesting prospect for one of the last few roster spots.

Eric Skoglund — Who could forget his debut against Detroit in May? It was one of the best individual performances of the season. Skoglund was sure to be the feel good story of the season. Over his next six appearances, however, his ERA was north of 14.00. Skoglund will also be in the mix by default, but he will certainly be a long shot.

My prediction:

  1. Danny Duffy
  2. Ian Kennedy
  3. Jason Hammel
  4. Wade Miley — free agent acquisition
  5. Jake Junis

In the bullpen — Nate Karns and Brian Flynn

In the minors — Josh Staumont, Sam Gaviglio and Eric Skoglund

Although the exact order is subject to change, the top three guys are locks. I see Moore attempting to plug in someone new later on in the rotation, which is where Miley comes in. And as mentioned, I think that Junis’ performance down the stretch earned him a shot at a full season of work.

Next: Reasons 2017 Became a Down Year

Regardless, stay tuned throughout the offseason and spring training to see how the 2018 rotation shakes out.