KC Royals: It’s time for Josh Staumont to shine

KC Royals, Josh Staumont (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Josh Staumont (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals need reliable bullpen arms and many of their prospects are looking to prove themselves. It’s time this heat thrower found his place.

The KC Royals are onto spring training and it’s time for fans to see the team start to take form. Over the next few weeks, the team will work, spring training games will startup, and regular season baseball will finally be right around the corner.

While there will likely be a lot of similar faces at Kauffman Stadium for 2020, it’s likely some new faces will find their way into the lineup as well. The offseason was fairly low profile for the Royals, but some after some small acquisitions, the team has built up a good deal of competition for spots on the pitching staff in 2020.

There are plenty of veterans that are fighting for spots, with notable names like Greg Holland and Trevor Rosenthal, but fans might see a lot of young faces as well. There was a good deal of young pitchers that filtered through the bullpen in 2019, and some of them are likely to see time again, hoping to make their case.

One of these young pitchers is Josh Staumont. Staumont didn’t see a lot of major league time in 2019, and the 19.1 innings that he did see were not all that impressive. He managed to strikeout 15, but gave up 21 hits and 10 walks as well, somehow holding his ERA at 3.72.

Even though he threw up some warning signs, there has to be some give and take in the first major league innings a pitcher throws. Michael Huckins took a look at Staumont’s predicted stats for 2020. He suggested the fastball and curveball that Staumont throws can be effective but walks are a killer for him.

Luckily, and while it may not be a big drop, Staumont did manage to lower his walk rate over the few major league innings he pitched in 2019, putting up 4.7 per 9 instead of the 6-7 per 9 he used to float around. While he still needs to continue dropping walks, its a start.

On the flip side, while he dropped his walks, he also saw a sharp decline in his strikeouts. Staumont was recording strikeouts at a rate of 13.0 per 9 in AAA during the 2019 season but dropped to just 7.0 per 9 in the majors. Staumont has been in the minors since 2015 and has never dropped below 10 strikeouts per 9.

Staumont has been sitting in AAA since 2017 and held his ERA under 4.00 in both 2018 and 2019 while continuing to strike out batters at an incredibly high rate. His walk rate also sat over 6 per 9, so his damage control is likely pretty decent as well.

If Staumont could just keep control of his pitches, he is everything the Royals need. He is young (25  years old), has one heck of an arm, and could become a reliable piece of the future bullpen.

There is no better opening for Staumont to show what he is worth. He could secure a future spot on the team in 2020, but he must show progression and control. If everything clicks and Stamont can show the needed progression, the Royals could have a monster in the bullpen for years to come.

Next. 2020 KC Royals season preview: Maikel Franco. dark

It’s time for the young arms to start making their claims. The Royals have a lot of competition for pitching roles in 2020 and there is no better time for a pitcher to show what they are made of than right now in spring training.