Kansas City Royals: Final MLB Pipeline rankings snub two prospects
By Ryan Sikes
MLB Pipeline released its year-end Top 100 rankings and just three Kansas City Royals prospects made the cut. Two others should have made it.
While I shouldn’t complain, considering that the Kansas City Royals had just one prospect ranked within MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 at the start of the season in Brady Singer, an argument can be made that more prospects should have appeared in the final rankings recently released. As the season progressed, a couple more Royals players appeared in the Top 100, especially with the selection of the top high school shortstop in the country in June’s draft.
Bobby Witt Jr. first appeared in the rankings as the number 8 overall prospect in the game, which is amazing considering he hadn’t even taken a swing in professional baseball at the time. Daniel Lynch also made an appearance number 94 overall and improved to number 71 in June’s updated Top 100.
Along with Singer, the Royals farm system was starting to looking better every day. The former Florida Gator made 26 starts this season split between High-A and Double-A. Singer tossed 57.2 innings with a 1.87 ERA for Wilmington and had a 3.47 ERA in 90.2 innings for NW Arkansas. He could be ready for the big leagues as soon as next year, assuming everything goes as planned.
Witt got his feet wet in professional baseball in the Arizona Royals rookie league. He clubbed just one home run but slashed 0.262/0.317/0.354 with 2 doubles, 5 triples, and knocked in 27 runs over the course of 37 games. The Royals still have time to figure out what they want to do at the shortstop position, but it may mean a position change for either Witt or Adalberto Mondesi.
And finally Lynch. The 22-year old from the University of Virginia made 15 starts for Wilmington this season and threw 78.1 innings with 77 strikeouts. He displayed very good command all year long, allowing just 23 free passes. Lynch moved up one spot to number 70 overall in the final rankings but was roughed up a bit in 2 playoff starts this year. That being said, I don’t think it’s any cause for long-term concern.
So I had mentioned that two players were snubbed. Where the heck are Kris Bubic and Jackson Kowar on this list? Bubic led the minors in strikeouts this year and was dominant in 2 playoff starts for Wilmington tossing 12.2 innings with 19 strikeouts and just 2 walks. I understand that MLB Pipeline will be doing these rankings again prior to the season, but Bubic has to be in there.
Kowar is another one that should have made the cut. The 22-year old flame thrower made 13 starts for both Wilmington and NW Arkansas this season with nearly identical innings pitched. He is the very definition of consistency in that his numbers were almost the same across both levels. Kowar tossed 74.0 and 74.1 innings for Wilmington and NW Arkansas, respectively. He allowed 29 earned runs for both squads but he had 12 more strikeouts in Double-A. That kind of consistency to the next level and taking your game that much higher is exactly why Kowar should have been ranked within the Top 100.
We’ll see how things shake out prior to the 2020 season but the Royals could potentially find themselves with 6 players in the Top 100, Austin Cox being the other one.