Kansas City Royals: Diving into each of draft picks
With the 105th pick, LHP Christian Chamberlain
Christian Chamberlain was taken in the 4th round at pick No.105 and is probably a bullpen arm, rather than a starter. With the ability to ramp a fastball up the mid-90s, paired with a 12-6 curveball and a solid changeup, Chamberlain has a chance to be a solid bullpen piece, if not a back-end rotational arm.
According to Alec Lewis of The Athletic, assistant scouting director Dan Ontiveros sees a lot of similarities between Chamberlain and former Royals’ Tim Collins and Brandon Finnegan. While Collins and Finnegan don’t have great career numbers, while in Kansas City they weren’t too bad. Collins had a 3.54 ERA and a 9.4 SO9 and 220 strikeouts over 211.0 innings. Finnegan, who went from pitching in the 2014 College World Series at TCU to helping the Royals in the 2014 playoff run, posted a career 2.59 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 31.1 innings and 21 games.
Chamberlain has improved every year, finishing his time at Oregon State with a 0.82 ERA over 22.0 innings and four starts. His WHIP dropped from 1.276 his sophomore year to 0.773 his junior year, allowing just six hits and 11 walks. He also struck out 34 hitters.
While he spent more time as a bullpen pitcher, appearing in 47 games and making just 10 starts, he showed scouts and the Royals that he could be a back-end starter, or potentially make a spot start if needed at the big-league level.
With the 135th pick, RHP Will Klein
Pitcher Will Klein is the last pick for the Royals at No.135 and he might be a steal considering the number of rumors that teams were going to try and get him in undrafted free agent pool, instead of in the draft. He has a great SO9 percentage over his career (12.8 SO9), however, he gives up a lot of base hits and walks a lot of batters in comparison to how many innings he’s actually pitched.
One of the enticing things about Klein though is the gas he throws. He’s been clocked at 98mph with his fastball, and it has some life to it. Based on what we have seen from pitchers who have been recently drafted by the Royals too, all have increased their fastball velocity as soon as the coaches started working with them.
If the coaching staff can help Klein get more command of his pitches, and he increases his velocity to be in the high 90s consistently, with the occasional triple-digit fastball, Klein could easily find his way into the Royals bullpen.