It’s likely KC Royals fans would like to see a bullpen like that of the 2014-15 World Series runs, and that may be just what the team is working towards.
Ask a KC Royals fan about their recent bullpen and it’s likely the conversation will change subjects fairly quickly. There are some positives that can be covered, but for the most part, the past few years of bullpen work have been less than consistent and primarily upsetting.
Still, as much as the bullpen has struggled, one has to wonder at times if the reason the past few years of inconsistency has been so hard on Royals fans is because of the success the bullpen saw in years prior, primarily during the 2014-15 World Series runs.
The bullpen was dominate and there was no team that didn’t struggle to get past the terrifying combination of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. To go from the top to the bottom in such a short amount of time is not easy, and it makes struggling that much worse to deal with.
In taking a closer look at the Royal’s recent options, though, it looks as if they are trying to revisit the time of powerful bullpens and flamethrowers for arms. They signed Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland to minor league contracts over the offseason, and Josh Staumont is doing his thing, touching 103 mph in practice with his fastball.
It seems Kansas City has had enough of allowing the bullpen to give up the game. To further credit this, fans can turn to the recent draft and non-drafted player signings that have taken place over the past few days.
One, in particular, is John McMillon. McMillon was one of those players who fell victim to the short draft and went undrafted. That didn’t stop the Royals though, and now he will be starting his career in Kansas City.
Over at the DailyToreador.com, an article about McMillion highlights his ability in that he became a reliable reliever in the Texas Tech bullpen with his fastball that regularly touched 100 mph. McMillion has seen his share of struggles, though, during seasons where he was primarily a reliever, he seemed to be in stride.
His 2020 season was cut short, but he managed to record 20 strikeouts over 9.1 innings according to Baseball-Reference, and in a full 2019 season, struck out 67 batters over 47.2 innings.
McMillion will have to work on his control, as he struggles with walks, but he looks to be a part of the Royals plan for a future bullpen of power and speed. Check out this clip of an aluminum bat breaking on one of his pitches.
Of course, there is a good chance that the bat has a flaw or another issue, but one can’t deny, the ball had some momentum to help with the process of breaking the bat.
Fans of the Royals will have to wait and see what the future has in store for McMillion, but he is one new name fans should familiarize themselves with.
John McMillion is just one of the multiple new young players coming into the Royals organization. While there is still some time before many of these players will be ready, the future looks bright for the Royals pitching staff.