Chosen in the 2nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Kansas City Royals right-hander Josh Staumont would like more big league action in 2020.
The number #24 prospect for the Royals, Josh Staumont, was a high pick for the Kansas City Royals in June of 2015 after a dominating season in which he struck out 109 batters in just 68 2/3 innings with Azusa Pacific University. He went on to pitch well for the Arizona Royals and Idaho Falls Chukars to close out the year with a combined 2.48 ERA and sat down 58 hitters on strikes in 40 frames.
Despite struggling in 2016 at the A+ level Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he was 2-10 with a 5.05 ERA, Staumont received a call to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals where he settled down in 11 starts lowering his ERA by two points and shaving 0.21 off of his WHIP. Further seasoning took place in the Arizona Fall League that year as he competed against other top prospects from around baseball. In seven starts his WHIP was a respectable 1.29 and once again he struck out more batters than total innings pitched.
2017 was split between the AA and AAA level as he made to the jump to Omaha mid-summer. Staumont had trouble adjusting to the Pacific Coast League and saw his ERA finish at over 6 at the highest level of minor league ball.
The next season saw progress as he transitioned into a bullpen role only making five starts in 41 total appearances. His ERA dropped to 3.51 as he spent the entire year on the Storm Chasers roster.
Playing a swingman role for Omaha in 2019, he started 12 games and came in relief for another 20. He posted his lowest WHIP since the AFL stint in 2016 while still blowing away batters with 74 K’s in 51 1/3 innings. Staumont received his first taste of the majors pitching in 16 games for the Kansas City Royals.
Whether or not Staumont can make a long-term stay in Kansas City remains to be seen. His live arm also produces too many walks to depend on him regularly. While he only gives up 0.6 home runs per nine innings in professional ball, his rate of 7.0 base-on-balls over the same amount of frames does not play well in any organization. Staumont actually lowered it to 4.7 with his short stint on the major league club and he will need to continue that downward trend to lock in a roster spot.
His fastball has major life, during Staumont’s time with the Royals he averaged 96.1 MPH on the four-seam fastball. He threw that pitch 70% of the time and a change-up the remaining pitches but will need to develop another pitch or two to keep big league hitters from teeing off.
Although notorious for having success with players coming up to Kansas City in their late 20’s after multiple seasons in the minors, as Staumont enters his age-26 season and sixth go-round with professional baseball it is imperative he demonstrates the ability to command his pitches. If not, the Royals have many young arms climbing the ladder of success quickly who can bypass him.