Kansas City Royals: Prospect to Watch, Richard Lovelady
With the Kansas City Royals entering a period of rebuilding, many young pitchers will hopefully be given opportunities. One of the underdogs who may end up getting an opportunity, probably in the 2019 season, is Richard Lovelady.
The Kansas City Royals drafted Richard Lovelady in the tenth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He quickly advanced through the Royals minor league system. This season, he landed in Omaha with the Storm Chasers.
He’s another young arm, at only 22 years old, that will probably see some time in the Majors coming soon. He was successful in Double A, but it seems he needs a little more time to adjust at the Triple A level before he can make the move to the Big Leagues.
The lefty sits in the 18-spot on MLB Pipeline’s list of top 30 prospects within the Kansas City Royals organization.
In 2017, Lovelady spent half of the season in Advanced A ball before moving to Double A. He had a record of 3-2, which doesn’t look great. But his ERA was only 2.16, which really isn’t all that bad.
He has a high walk rate, with a BB/9 rate of 3.51 in Double A in 2017. In 2018, the number has decreased to 3.26, in four more games.
In the 25 games he has pitched in, he has a record of 3-1. The reliever’s ERA is 3.49 so far in Triple A, but he still has plenty of games to turn it around.
He has two primary pitches: a fastball and a slider. His fastball has seen a heavy increase in velocity since he joined the Kansas City Royals organization, and his slider has remained effective on both lefties and righties. The southpaw also mixes in a changeup, but he primarily relies on his two best pitches.
When will he get the call?
It’s likely it won’t happen soon for Richard Lovelady. Unless a plethora of players are traded away before the trade deadline, he likely will not wear a Kansas City Royals uniform until the 2019 season.
Next: Should they pursue Domingo Santana?
He has the potential for success, but a little extra time in Triple A will benefit him. He needs the time to make the adjustment to a higher level of play before he can move up another tier. Then, he has the potential to be a dominant force in the Kansas City Royals bullpen.