KC Royals: Can Brady Singer realize his potential?

Mark McCarthy
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s KC Royals Projections series 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 righthanded pitcher Brady Singer.

As he prepares for his third major league season, the KC Royals are still looking for Brady Singer’s results to match up with him being their top choice in the 2018 amateur draft. A 2.85 ERA in 26 minor league starts in 2019 affirmed Singer’s top prospect status, but that performance hasn’t yet translated to the big leagues on a consistent basis.

There have been flashes of what Singer can do at his best, such as two September starts in 2020 when he went 14 total innings without giving up a run and struck out 16. And in four of his five starts that month, Singer put up 24 innings with a 1.50 ERA, logged three of his four wins for the shortened season, and came awfully close to a no-hitter. On the other hand, his first eight starts of that campaign ended with a 1-4 record and 5.58 ERA.

Singer started 2021 by giving up six runs (five earned) in his first start of the season. That was the first of six games in which Singer gave up five or more runs. On the flip side, he surrendered three or fewer earned runs in 16 of his 27 starts, including six innings of shutout work in an April no-decision and seven innings of scoreless ball in a September win. Again closing the season strongly, Singer tossed a seven-inning complete game in the opener of a Sept. 20 doubleheader at Cleveland.

Through two seasons and 39 starts, Singer is 9-15 with 4.62 ERA; he’s essentially averaging a strikeout an inning, but has a 3.6 BB9. Singer has betrayed himself in the field as well, leading American League pitchers with six errors in 2021, including two in one game.

How Baseball Reference and FanGraphs project Brady Singer for the KC Royals.

Baseball Reference projects Singer will finish the season with a losing record again (7-10, and a 4.44 ERA in 142 innings. FanGraphs (Depth Chart version) expects Singer to finish 9-9 in 28 starts with a 4.24 ERA.

How will starter Brady Singer actually perform for the KC Royals in 2022?

The first of four pitchers Kansas City selected in the first 40 picks of the 2018 draft (Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic were the others) the Royals are hoping Singer will this season realize the potential his high pick reflects. That means at least approaching the results FanGraphs projects for him.

Double-digit wins would be an even better place for Singer to start, but to get there he’ll need to show more of the back-to-back 14-inning scoreless games and fewer of the six-run outings he’s been prone to his first two seasons. Whether he can remains to be seen.

Unfortunately, spring hasn’t been kind to Singer—although he has six strikeouts in 4.1 innings through two exhibition games, he’s also walked six, given up a home run and has a 6.23 ERA. Singer must improve those numbers if he’s going to get on track for an improved regular season.

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Brady Singer hasn’t realized his potential. Will he in 2022?

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