While the KC Royals season hasn’t started yet, it’s good to take a look and see where the team stands, including who will succeed by the end of the season.
It’s still unknown when the KC Royals will finally get to start playing again at Kauffman Stadium, but it’s important to continue looking into the future season to see what the team might be able to accomplish.
There are a lot of questions surrounding the Royals right now as spring training was cut short and there were still many players, pitchers especially, to work through and see who would make it onto the 26 man roster. While anyone has a chance to take home some team awards for the 2020 season, let’s go through 4 predictions for who might finish the year as the Royals Pitcher of the Year.
Brad Keller did not have a great start to spring training, and he did see some extra struggles during the 2019 season, but still, he remains the only starter out of the top 4 picks on this list. Keller has been reworking some things and trying to add to his pitching arsenal, so this could also be a reason he struggled in spring training.
He was likely trying out new things, and wanting to get a feel for where he stood on each pitch, and there’s no better time to do it. Keller is in line for a bit of a bounce-back year, and will likely remain the team’s ace for now setting him up to be a prime candidate for Royals POTY.
Now, one could get ahead of themselves with Josh Staumont, but if going largely on what was seen in spring training, Staumont is a sure candidate. In 2019 he pitched 19.1 innings at the major league level and while he saw a sharp decline in his strikeouts and continued struggle with walks, he did manage to keep his ERA at 3.72.
In spring training, he impressed further. Staumont was only able to pitch 6.0 innings before training was shut down, but it was a good 6. He struck out 10 and didn’t give up a run. He still gave up a few walks, but his control looked much better than in the past.
Scott Barlow is a bit of a wild card, but one that could really shine if the pieces come together. He saw some ups and downs during the 2019 season but still became a reliable bullpen arm, pitching 70.1 innings with 92 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.22. He did struggle with control and walks at times, but held it together decently.
In spring training, Barlow looked to have progressed with his control. He managed 5.1 innings, held an ERA of 1.69 and gave up only 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. He will have to show continued progression, but if he can remain a reliable arm, he will be in a spot to be the Royals POTY.
This one could take multiple routes, but for this prediction, it is assuming he does not get traded in the middle of the season. Trevor Rosenthal is the exact type of player that the Royals like for offseason acquisitions; Inexpensive, has some experience, and is banking on a bounce-back season.
As far as spring training went, Rosenthal managed 5.0 innings, walking none, striking out 9, and giving up no runs. While it will take a larger sample to know if he is back to his old self, if he continues these numbers in a full season for the Royals, he will be in a good spot and could see some awards come his way.
There are plenty of other possibilities to put on this list and some of those that were thought about include Jorge Lopez, Randy Rosario, and Tim Hill, among others. With the limited spring training and unknowns about how the 2020 season will look though, it’s difficult to pick from the plethora of pitchers the Royals invited to play this spring.
Is there anyone you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments.