3 KC Royals prospects who need a change of scenery

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Foster Griffin
Foster Griffin (Photo by Christian Peters, Getty Images) /

This former first-round pick in 2014 had a great 2017 season but has struggled while being assigned to Double-A and Triple-A the last two years.

Foster Griffin was selected by the KC Royals as an 18-year-old out of First Academy in Orlando, Florida.  He jumped right into the fray joining the Burlington Royals that summer and held his own in 11 starts with a 3.21 ERA. After struggling at Lexington in 2015 he looked good for the Legends the following year in seven starts again, but had difficulty with a promotion when he was sent to the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

2017 was easily the high water mark in Griffin’s career, as he split time between Wilmington and the Northwest Arkansas Travelers in AA.  His combined record was 15-7 with a 3.35 ERA and during his time with Blue Rocks, he had career bests in WHIP (1.11) and ERA (2.86).

It was also in 2017 that Griffin reached his highest point on the MLB KC Royals Prospect list, shooting all the way up to No. 6.  He was also named the Royals Minor League Player of the Year.  Oddly though, by the next season, he was nowhere to be found on the rankings.

Part of this could be due to the struggle with issuing free passes and that hitters in the Texas League hit .271 off of him.  They did much better in 2018, taking Griffin to the woodshed with a .315 average.  His ERA that year was 5.13.

One situation out of Griffin’s control was the draft class of 2018 that included five college pitchers who all could be part of the Royals big league squad in the next couple of years. It’s easy to see how Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic, and Jonathan Bowlan can push you down the depth chart.

A promotion to Omaha occurred in 2019 nonetheless and once again he had difficulty getting big-league players out.  Despite an 8-6 record in 25 starts, the ERA creeped up to 5.23 and he walked 64 players in 130 2/3 innings.

Griffin did score an invite to the big league camp this spring and the results were not pretty statistically.  He had a 7.94 ERA in four games before being optioned to the minor league camp.

3 KC Royals need reset after spring performance. light. Read

While the 6-foot-3 left-hander still may have a future at the big league level, with the KC Royals’ other plethora or arms quickly moving up the rankings it is probably best he get a chance with another team.