Kansas City Royals: Jonathan Bowlan looks human in two playoff starts

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The last of the fab-five, Jonathan Bowlan was the Kansas City Royals second-round draft pick in 2018 but has struggled in two postseason starts.

This is exactly why pitcher’s wins and losses should never be taken seriously. Kansas City Royals 2018 second-round draft pick, Jonathan Bowlan, went 2-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts in his junior season at Memphis. The big righty struck out 104 batters and walked just 18 batters in 85.0 innings of work.

Thankfully, the Royals scouting department ignored the wins and losses and focused on what matters. Bowlan is the last of the fab-five in the 2018 class with Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic taken ahead of him and in that order. He was sensational this season split between Single-A and High-A.

With Single-A Lexington, Bowlan tossed 69.2 innings with 74 strikeouts, 10 walks and spun a 3.36 ERA in 13 appearances (11 starts). He was promoted to High-A Wilmington in mid-June and continued his dominance, tossing 76.1 innings with 76 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts (13 appearances).

What I like most about Bowlan is that he has shown the ability to carry his terrific command to the next level. That being said, he has struggled in his last two starts, both playoff games for Wilmington. On September 5, Bowlan allowed 9 hits with 4 earned runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 5.0 innings.

He followed that with the shortest start of his 2019 season, going just 3.2 innings while allowing 4 hits with 3 earned runs and 2 walks. Bowlan did strike out 6 batters in that start but he definitely hasn’t looked as dominant. Obviously, it’s a small sample size and nobody should be worried about Bowlan going forward based on those two starts alone.

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Bowlan might get one more start this season if the Blue Rocks can manage to stave off elimination in the Mills Cup Championship Series. As far as next season goes? I would expect that the 22 year-old gets a well-deserved promotion to Double-A to begin the season. He is expected to be ready for the big league at some point in 2021.