Kings of Kauffman had the chance to ask the Kansas City Royals’ second-round pick from the 2018 MLB Draft some questions.
When the Kansas City Royals started the 2018 MLB Draft, they had one thing in mind: pitching. With its first five picks, the front office made a concerted effort to select arms that would hopefully one day develop into the next generation of Royals. In the second round, Jonathan Bowlan capped off a run of picks that also featured Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic.
Through his first two years in the Royals organization, Bowlan has been stellar. The former Memphis Tiger made it all the way up to High-A Wilmington, where he went 5-3 and posted an ERA of 2.95 while striking out 76 batters in 76.1 innings. The 6-foot-6, 260-plus pound righty boasts an electric fastball that averages between 92-95 miles per hour and is capable of reaching just a bit higher. He also brings a low-80s slider and a changeup to the table.
We recently had the chance to ask Jonathan a few questions. Below are his responses.
Q: What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed between collegiate hitters and minor league ones thus far?
A: With college hitters, there are a couple of hitters that can really hurt you. So you can get away with mistakes more often throughout the game. When it comes to minor league hitters, any hitter can hurt you at any time so you need to be consistent with your pitch locations and have a good mix between your fastball and offspeed pitches.
Q: You’ve been known to be the kind of guy to inspire others and constantly seek to give back to the community. Any projects or causes you’ve worked on/with lately?
A: I have planned time to speak with our middle and high school kids. Also, I continue to support those in our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Friends of Faith and the Down Syndrome Association every chance I get. As well as being active at an animal rescue, which is run by my aunt; Funny Farm Rescue Ranch located in Pinson, Tennessee.
Q: How did it feel to win a championship with the Blue Rocks this season?
A: Winning the championship with the Blue Rocks, and that team, is a moment I will never forget. We worked hard all season to reach that moment and it was such an incredible feeling to come out on top.
Q: You haven’t had much trouble so far in the minors. As you advance to potentially AA this season, are you looking forward to the challenge?
A: Absolutely, I’m looking forward to every challenge and opportunity I can get.
Q: You’re a well-built pitcher at 6’6″ and ~260 pounds. A lot of people will expect you to throw a hard fastball and eat up innings. Does that stereotype bother you at all?
A: No, not at all. Because all I can do is focus on my game and do what I need to do to help my team win.
Q: How has the development of your changeup come along?
A: Good, I’m just going to continue to work on it this offseason and become more consistent with it.
Q: Any specific goals for the 2020 season?
A: My goals [for] this next season include [improving] the consistency and control of my offspeed pitches. I want to be able to throw them at any time, in any count and in any situation.
On behalf of Kings of Kauffman, I’d like to thank Jonathan Bowlan (@u_kno_im_BOWLAN) for taking some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. We’re rooting for you. Best of luck moving forward!