KC Royals: Expect more of the same from Joel Payamps

(Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s KC Royals projections for 2022. Between now and Opening Day, our writers are analyzing how various Royals performed last season and predicting how they might fare this year. Up today is relief pitcher Joel Payamps.

Over a stretch of eight months from November 2020 through the end of July 2021, Joel Payamps did his best impression of a ping-pong ball before landing with the KC Royals.

The Colorado Rockies signed Payamps as a free agent in 2010, but after four seasons that never saw him pitch higher than A-ball, he was released and joined the Arizona organization. After five years, Payamps had only four major league appearances covering seven innings.

That’s when the bouncing began. In November 2020, Boston claimed Payamps off waivers. By Feb. 10, 2021, Toronto had selected him off waivers from the Red Sox, only to see the Red Sox take him back 12 days later with another waiver claim. On March 6, the Blue Jays claimed Payamps again. Then, after he appeared 37 times for the Jays with a 2.70 ERA, Toronto optioned Payamps to Triple-A Buffalo in late June and designated him for assignment in mid-July. Kansas City acquired him July 22.

After two saves in eight appearances with Triple-A Omaha, Payamps made his Royals debut Aug. 19. In 15 appearances with Kansas City, Payamps went 1-1 and surrendered at least one run eight times and allowed six of 12 inherited runners to score. He showed good control with just three walks and 16 strikeouts in 20.1 innings, but posted a 4.43 ERA.

How Baseball Reference and FanGraphs project Joel Payamps for the KC Royals.

Baseball Reference expects Payamps to pitch 52 innings and go 2-3 with one save and a 3.98 ERA. Fan Graphs (Depth Chart version) projects Payamps working 52 innings with a 4.51 ERA and 3-3 record.

How will KC Royals reliever Joel Payamps actually perform this season?

Payamps, who’s given up three runs in three Cactus League innings through Monday, can provide value out of the bullpen or as an emergency starter or opener. Expect him to finish with an ERA around 4.00 and give the club bullpen support much the way he did last season when he spent much of his time cleaning up in the middle innings.

Next. Projecting Kyle Isbel. dark

Look for Joel Payamps to put in a 2022 effort that closely resembles his 2021 performance.