One young pitcher has shown his worth to the KC Royals and is likely to find himself in the rotation for years to come.
When attempting to decide who will be in the KC Royals rotation for 2020, the first name that may come to many fans’ minds is Brad Keller. Keller was a breakout pitcher in 2018 who started his career in the bullpen but stepped up in a time of need and finished the season as a starter.
In 2018, Keller started 20 games, playing in 41, and held an ERA of 3.08. He was a lockdown for the future rotation and a breath of fresh air for a team that was struggling with pitchers. Keller is not one to strikeout out every batter, but his ability to keep the ball on the ground rivals just about anyone and his low home runs against speaks volumes as well.
Keller found his way to being the opening day starter in 2019 and blew fans away with a great game, pitching 7 innings giving up only 2 hits and striking out 5. Keller continued to pitch throughout the season, but struggled greatly with walks, causing his ERA to rise to 4.19 on the season.
While Keller struggled in some areas, he also seemed to have less run support than many other pitchers, ranking 175th in run support out of 178 pitchers who started at least 10 games.
Though Keller seemed to regress a bit in 2019, he still showed enough to be a lockdown candidate for the 2020 rotation. He is a young arm that has proven he can compete, and with continued work, he could turn into a good pitcher for years to come in the future Royals rotation.