With Kyle Zimmer inking a major league deal with the Royals, it is time to look back at another pitcher and former first round draft pick residing in the Kansas City Royals minor league system, Foster Griffin.
Listed as the 29th ranked prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to MLB Pipeline, Foster Griffin was selected with the 28th overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft. The 23 year old may pose the potential to break into the majors as early as 2019 if he continues to see success in the minors.
The lefty pitcher carries a 45 overall grade according the MLB Pipeline with his changeup ranked as his best pitch, reaching a grade of 55. He also features a fastball and curveball in his arsenal.
In 2017, he was able to make improvements to both his velocity, topping out at 93, and his confidence on the mound. Both factored in to his selection as the Royals’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year during that season.
2018 Season Results
In 2018, Griffin spent his time with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He posted a record of 10-12 and an ERA of 5.13. Out of the 28 games he appeared in, he started 26.
In his 152.2 innings of work, he yielded 197 hits, 20 of which were home runs, 40 walks, and struck out 117 of the batters he faced. Opposing teams tallied an average of .315 with him on the hill, and his WHIP sat at 1.55 on the season.
The 2018 season was a bit of a setback compared to his success in 2017. Between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, he tallied an ERA of 3.35 on the season and he was 15-7 overall.
What’s next for Griffin?
Griffin is in need of a turnaround season. Working hard in the offseason will definitely bode well for him. This isn’t to say his 2018 season was so horrible that he doesn’t stand a chance in the majors, because that isn’t the case at all.
He likely will see time with Omaha by the middle of the season at the latest. From there, he controls his own destiny. If there needs to be a revolving door of pitchers during this time of rebuilding, then there may be a spot with his name on it for a short stint, or stints, during the 2019 season.