The MLB beat writers got together to name one prospect to watch in each system. For the Kansas City Royals that player is Richard Lovelady.
Richard Lovelady ended last season as the Kansas City Royals number 13 prospect and that might be too low. Per Jeffrey Flanagan, the young lefty might continue to perform well enough to force the organization to bring him up.
The Royals snagged Lovelady out of Kennesaw State University in the tenth round back in 2016. Since then he has ascended as high as Triple A with a career 2.02 ERA in the minors. He has shown a lot more with his 178/47 K/BB ratio in 164.2 innings of work.
A plus fastball and above average slider, combined with a low arm slot, have helped Lovelady find his success so far. He has been a reliever since entering the Royals system. According to MLB Pipeline, his breaker has proven effective against both righties and lefties.
It seems that Lovelady can turn into an impact lefty out of the bullpen. It does not matter if a lefty or righty at the plate, he can be trusted. Southpaws like Andrew Miller and Josh Hader have proved how valuable that can be.
All of his success is being noticed. For one, Lovelady made it up to Triple A in just two years. But this year he is a non-roster invite to MLB Spring Training. It is not the first time though, he threw 3.1 innings last year giving up only one hit. Unfortunately that hit was a homerun.
Working through the minors can be a tough road. Especially when you are not taken in a top few rounds. For Lovelady, he as proven more than enough. He joins names like Casey Mize, Eloy Jimenez, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Many of the players on the list are the top prospects in their organization, which makes Lovelady stand out even more.
It had taken hard work from Lovelady, but he is on the cusp of a dream. Kansas City Royals fans should be very excited for what he can bring to the bullpen for years to come. Talk about finding value in the draft.