KC Royals: Top prospect rewind, pitcher Kris Bubic
By Jordan Foote
Let’s check in on one of the KC Royals’ first-round selections from the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft, pitching prospect Kris Bubic.
As the KC Royals continue their rebuild, an emphasis will be placed on prospect development. Welcome to the continuation of our “Top prospect rewind” series.
The subject of this article: Kris Bubic. The left-handed pitcher began his post-high school career with the Stanford Cardinal. Improving more and more over the course of his three seasons with the team, in addition to posting an impressive showing with the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League in 2017, he was selected 40th overall by the Royals in 2018. His junior year at Stanford was stellar, featuring an 8-1 record and a 2.62 ERA.
Bubic didn’t get off to a hot start in the minor leagues out of college, but he was still solid. In 10 games with Idaho Falls, he went 2-3 while spinning a 4.03 ERA over 38 innings pitched. He also struck out 53 hitters during that span, living up to the reputation he previously built as a high-strikeout pitcher.
That was certainly the case again last season. 2019 was a great year for Bubic across two levels, making nine starts for Lexington and then 17 for A+ Wilmington. With the Legends, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound hurler struck out a whopping 75
hitters faced in 47.2 innings. As a member of the Blue Rocks’ championship team, those numbers jumped to 110 and 101.2, respectively.
Bubic’s composite numbers from 2019 were terrific. Leading all minor league players in strikeouts with 185, Bubic won 11 games and posted a jaw-dropping 2.23 ERA. He’s clearly mastered A-ball and will move up as the 2020 season progresses.
Bubic has a solid fastball and a plus changeup that work together to create a lethal one-two punch. He also possesses a curveball that is a work in progress, as he touched on in the articled above. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the Royals’ No. 6 prospect with a 2021 ETA, and Baseball America pegs him at No. 8.
Here’s to Bubic continuing his dominance as he advances through the KC Royals’ minor league system!