After a strong 2019 campaign mostly spent at the Adv-A level, Kansas City Royals lefty Daniel Lynch is dominating hitters in the AFL.
The 6’6″ southpaw, Daniel Lynch, did not have gaudy stats at the University of Virginia his first two seasons but turned heads in the Cape Cod League in 2017 only issuing three free passes and 25 hits in 30 plus innings. The next year at UVA he lowered his ERA and WHIP and fanned 105 hitters in only 88 frames of work, which caught the eyes of the Kansas City Royals.
One of the first-round pick pitchers from the 2018 draft, Lynch had a fantastic season split between Rookie and Single-A ball last year. The success continued into 2019 as he spent the bulk of his time pitching for the Advanced-A Wilmington Blue Rocks. Striking out a batter per inning and being recognized as a Mid-Season All-Star for the Carolina League were two of his accomplishments. He is also listed as the #69 overall prospect according to MLB.
Lynch is not done pitching this year, however, as he chose to play in the Arizona Fall League. Competing against other top prospects from other major league teams, many who are at the Double and Triple-A level, he has elevated his game. To give you an idea of the talent that comes through the AFL, a few of the recent players to participate include Bo Bichette, Victor Robles, Pete Alonso, and Vladamir Guerrero, Jr.
In his first game, Lynch tossed 3 innings striking out four, allowing three hits but no runs. His victims included Luis Campusano, the #86 overall prospect and MVP of Lake Elsinore (California League) and Oneil Cruz who was the MiLB Player of the Month for the Florida State League in July and #57 overall prospect.
His next outing was more impressive as he punched out eight batters in four frames while walking two and giving up two hits. Lynch threw 63 percent of his offerings for strikes and picked up the victory for the Surprise Saguaros.
Add these numbers up and you have a 1.00 WHIP with 12 strikeouts in just 7 innings. The AFL season goes until the end of October so Lynch should have two to three more starts to showcase his talent. If the first two games are any indication, Kansas City Royals fans should be in for a treat.