Kansas City Royals: Grant Gambrell continues college arm stockpile

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The third-round pick out of Oregon State joins the prolific college hurlers the Kansas City Royals have drafted the last two seasons.

The 2018 Major League Amateur Draft saw the Kansas City Royals go all-in with pitchers who were coming off excellent college careers. Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic are already making waves in the minors and many expect one or more could be in a Royals uniform in the near future. Although Kansas City focused on offense the first couple of picks in the ’19 draft, do not sleep on 3rd round pick Grant Gambrell.

A 6’4″ right-hander from Oregon State, Gambrell is another hurler that could progress quickly through the Kansas City affiliates. As a sophomore in 2018, his record was 5-1 and he was an important part of the College World Series winners. His 2019 season with the Beavers was excellent as he posted a 2.83 ERA in 13 games started, struck out 80 batters in 70 innings, and held opponents to a .232 batting average.

He was an Honorable Mention pick for the Pac-12 All-Conference team and helped guide the team to a third consecutive year of regional play. He threw a gem in late April against the Washington State Cougars when his team needed someone to eat up innings after playing multiple extra-inning games over a week’s time. He earned rave reviews from his coach, Pat Bailey, following 12 strikeouts in 8.1 innings and 2 hit ball:

"“I think that was the best-pitched game we’ve had all year long, personally,” Bailey said. “I thought he was absolutely lights out for the entire game. … The last seven and a third innings he threw were outstanding.” – Pat Bailey"

A week after signing with the Royals, Gambrell was shipped off to the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie Advanced Affiliate of Kansas City. His first three appearances, two of those being starts, were excellent as he pitched nearly eight total innings punching out eight batters and allowing no runs.

Although starting ten games, he never threw more than three innings at a time, presumably to keep the workload down after a long year already that started with Oregon State. He did struggle the rest of the season, possibly with arm fatigue settling in, but still managed 28 strikeouts over 27 frames thrown. Working on location was a key focus during the time with the Chukars.

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Just like his Beaver team, Gambrell was part of a team that took home a championship as Idaho Falls captured the Pioneer League title. With an electric arm and a history of winning big games on his side, the 26th ranked prospect is a pitcher that should make waves in the Royals organization.