Looking back at the first round plus comp picks at this point, it is obvious the KC Royals made the best selections in 2018 regarding pitchers.
Admittedly we are only two years removed from the 2018 amateur draft and much could change over the next decade. Judging based on results at the major league level, the KC Royals chose extremely wise that first day.
To date, only Casey Mize (1st pick – Detroit Tigers), Ryan Weathers (7th pick – San Diego Padres), and Shane McClanahan (31st pick – Tampa Bay Rays) have seen time on the major league roster. Weathers and McClanahan did not appear in any regular season games but did pitch in the playoffs for their parent clubs.
Mize started seven games in 2020 for the Tigers and was roughed up. He went 0-3, posted a 6.99 ERA, and only average about four innings per start. As the overall number one pick, he still has plenty of time to make a big impact in the majors. In the minors for 2019 had a 2.55 ERA and a WHIP of only 0.94 after all.
Weathers went from A ball in 2019 to pitch in the National League Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers as a 20-year-old. Pretty heavy stuff for a guy not old enough to legally drink yet. While he did walk two in an inning and a third, he gave up no hits and struck out one.
The Rays leaned on McClanahan more in their playoff run pitching him in four games total. He struggled with a 2.31 WHIP and gave up two homers in just over four frames. In the three minor league levels in 2019 ending in Double-A he struck out 154 in 120 2/3 innings foretelling big things could still be to come for him.
Kansas City, in the meantime, has the 18th and 40th pick with 22 combined starts of big league experience. They struck out 110 batters in 114.1 innings and only allowed 104 hits in those frames on their way to being probably the best starting pitching rookie duo in KC Royals history.
Brady Singer went on to finish eighth in the Rookie of the Year voting and both he and Kris Bubic finished strong allowing 16 earned runs in their September starts. That calculated to an impressive 2.73 ERA.
Lest we forget the KC Royals also have two pitchers in-between Singer and Bubic who have not made the majors yet but are expected to in 2021. Not only that, Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar are seen as rising stars who can help turn the team into contenders when added to the mix.
As we stand, it is solid proof that Kansas City outdid itself by collecting the draft picks and taking players who were ready to be contributors soon. So far the franchise has easily out drafted the others when it came to pitchers in 2018.