Kansas City Royals: Royals sign Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar
Just a few days before the end of the signing period, the Kansas City Royals sign their first two picks. Now we can fully welcome both Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar as officially Royals.
The Kansas City Royals being able to draft both Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar came as a bit of a surprise. Going into the draft, both Singer and Kowar were ranked highly among all potential draftees. According to MLB.com, Singer was rated as the No. 2 prospect and Kowar was rated as the No. 15 prospect.
The fact that the Royals had to wait until the 18th overall pick and both Singer and Kowar was rated higher than that, the Royals were shocked when both were dropping to 18 and 33.
Many mock drafts had both being drafted before 18th as well. Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis from MLB.com had a mock where Singer went 4th overall to the White Sox, while Kowar was projected to go at the earliest 14th and 20th at the latest.
Needless to say, getting Singer at No. 18 and Kowar at No. 33 was a surprise. So what can be expected?
In case you haven’t looked into both first-round picks, here is a short excerpt from MLB.com about each.
"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 up to 95-96 mph consistently, 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."
In college, Singer’s numbers were very impressive. Over his two years as a full-time starter for the Florida Gators, Singer posted a 2.90 ERA over 239.0 innings, with 243 strikeouts compared to just 54 walks.
"Kowar’s size and live arm make him stand out immediately. With a clean, repeatable delivery and easy arm action, the 6-foot-5 right-hander was up to 98 mph this fall and can sit in the mid-90s with ease. It can be a little bit too true at times, in contrast to Singer’s live heater, leading to a lower strikeout rate during his sophomore year than one would expect. His changeup is his best secondary offering, a plus pitch right now. His breaking ball is behind the other two, but it will flash above-average at times. He generally throws strikes and his command should improve with a solid delivery."
Kowar had impressive numbers as well. Over the last two years, Kowar had a 3.59 ERA over 218.2 innings as a teammate of Singer at Florida. Kowar also had 199 strikeouts compared to 87 walks. While his numbers aren’t as impressive as Singer, it is believed that Kowar could have a higher ceiling than Singer.
With both signed, the Royals system will only improve.
That should go without having to be said, seeing is how the Royals started the 2018 season with the worst farm system in baseball. With both signing the Royals system has improved significantly.
As mentioned before, the Royals started the year with the 30th ranked system. According to a re-evaluation that Bleacher Report did on all farm systems after the draft, the Royals jumped to 21st. In fact, Bleacher Report has Singer as the Royals No. 1 prospect and Kowar as the Royals No. 6 prospect.
They also have Singer as a Tier 1 prospect (Prospects who have an elite skill set and All-Star potential. These are guys who receive consideration for spots on leaguewide top-100 prospect lists) and Kowar as a Tier 2 prospect (Prospects who have a good chance of becoming at least a contributor in MLB. This is where most prospects fall).
Comps of players are always fun to look at to see what type of player your team now has.
Singer draws an exciting one. His comp is Phillies righty, Aaron Nola. Nola has a career 3.59 ERA over four years, 77 starts, and 465.2 innings. This year Nola has a 2.48 ERA over 17 starts. Pretty sure the Royals would take that type of production from Singer.
While Singer has an encouraging comp, Kowar has an interesting one. His comp is Clay Buchholz. Buchholz was a solid rotational arm for Boston from 2009-2015, posting a 3.67 ERA over 149 starts and 929.2 innings. He’s since moved from the rotation to the bullpen and back, bouncing between teams as well. However, if the Royals can get a 3.59 ERA type pitcher from Kowar, paired with Singer, that would be a significant upgrade.
Nevertheless, we have reached a point where we can relax and celebrate. In a year where celebrations seem few and far between, this is something to celebrate.
Next: Royals International Signings
The Royals have officially signed both of their top-end draft picks, which some were worried they might not be able too. Now that both have signed the dotted line, the Royals seem to have two pitching prospects who are potential front-of-the-line starters for the rebuild. You can’t complain much with that.
So what do you think Royals fans? Are you relieved that they got both signed? What are your anticipations for the Royals rotation? Let us know below!