It’s easy to be less than excited for a player you may know very little about. However, the Kansas City Royals and fans should be excited for their pick at No. 18.
When the Kansas City Royals were on the clock in the first round on Monday, none of the scouts and management thought they would get this guy. The anticipation was that he was a Top-10 talent. A lot of experts even had him in the Top-5. Yet when Pick 18 came around, Brady Singer was still there.
One of the biggest downfalls for the MLB is that many people don’t know much about the players their team drafts. Unless you are an avid follower of college and high school baseball, when a name is called come draft day most fans initially respond with “who?”
So who is Brady Singer?
The pitcher out of Florida was supposed to be gone by the time he reached the Royals at #18. In fact, Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com had Singer as the 5th best prospect in the 2018 draft.
Then you look at mock drafts where Singer is taken 2nd overall according to MLB.com, 2nd overall according to 247sports.com, 3rd overall according to draftsite.com, and 4th overall according to draftutopia.com.
Needless to say, not many, if any, had Singer making it to Pick 10, much less Pick 18. I know they are mock drafts, but that should make you a bit excited from the start.
But don’t take my word for it. Here is what Jeffrey Flanagan, Royals beat writer for MLB.com, wrote about when it comes to Singer.
"Singer, who is 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, has an above-average fastball that can touch 95-96 mph, according to scouts. MLB.com’s scouting report of him said: “Singer checks off all of the boxes teams are looking for out of a potential top pick. Long and lean, he has a terrific pitcher’s body that has thus far proven to be durable. He’ll throw his fastball … with plus life. His slider plays well off of his fastball, a second above-average pitch he manipulates in terms of depth and velocity. His changeup continues to improve and should give him a third above-average offering. He commands the ball well, gets high marks for his makeup and is a plus competitor."
So yes, be excited
Something that people do miss at times goes back to something one of the Royals commentators said on air this week when it comes to drafting a college pitcher over a high school pitcher. Rex Hudler said something along the lines of how college pitchers are a little more groomed and developed than high school pitcher. It sounds like a “duh” comment, but keep this in mind. The Royals need pitchers who are closer to MLB ready than not.
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote this week:
"The Royals took flak for going with college pitchers in the middle of a rebuild, but there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. Their tremendous whiffs on prep arms in recent years. Whether it’s a scouting issue or a development problem, the Royals have not done well turning high school arms into impact pros. This is an organization being reflective, honest with itself and adjusting."
The Royals have drafted high school pitchers Ashe Russell and Nolan Watson in the first round in recent years and it hasn’t worked out. Perhaps they realized this and made the adjustment this year. Why else would they have drafted so many college pitchers this year so early in the draft?
Brady Singer’s college numbers
Ever year Singer has improved. His freshman year he had a 4.95 ERA over 23 appearances and one start. He also had 38 strikeouts compared to 17 walks (2.24:1 K/BB).
Singer then improved upon his numbers his sophomore year. He posted a 3.21 ERA over 20 appearances and 19 starts. He struck out a staggering 129 hitters and walked 32 hitters (4.03:1 K/BB). While throwing for the Gators he averaged 6.3 innings per start.
His junior year he continued his success. He posted a 2.31 ERA over 15 appearances and starts. He also struck out 107 hitters compared to walking just 21 hitters (5.1:1 K/BB), and averaged 6.75 innings per start.
Can’t complain about those numbers.
He’s been said to have the competitive mentality of a top-end rotational pitcher and is someone that doesn’t want to give the baseball up.
Due to the lack of productivity, the Royals starting rotation has had the last two years, Singer could be a nice adjustment. Being a college pitcher, he could be closer to being MLB ready than a high school pitcher. Meaning he could contribute to the team sooner rather than later.
If the constant improvement each year statistically, or his competitive mentality, and even the fact that he wasn’t even thought to have been available at Pick 18 doesn’t start to excite you, then you’re focusing on the wrong things this year. The Royals Nation need to be focused on the future, rather than the present. And Singer seems to be the future.
I know I’m excited for Singer to show what he can do. My hope is he develops quicker than their high school pitchers have. As of right now, I don’t see a reason not to believe that will happen. So be excited Royals fans!
So what do you think Royals fans? Are you excited about Brady Singer joining the Royals? Do you think he will move through the rankings quickly? Do you have more you want to know? Let us know below!