KC Royals Prospects: An early look at the farm system

(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Ronald Bolanos
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Can Omaha give the KC Royals hope that better pitching is on the horizon?

The Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha is 6-6. Despite some slumping bats, the Storm Chasers have had some strong pitching performances—the rotation features strong big league candidates including Jon Heasley, Austin Cox, Ronald Bolaños and Jackson Kowar.

Heasley has two starts this season. His most recent effort went four scoreless innings: he struck out six and allowed only two hits and a walk. His ERA is 1.29.

Ronald Bolaños has already logged three starts. He’s pitched into the fifth inning in two of them and has worked a total of 13.1 innings with solid results—a 3.38 ERA, 14 strikeouts and just two walks.

Austin Cox is a strong candidate to earn his first promotion to the majors this season. Cox has been fantastic over his last two starts this season, pitching into the fifth inning or beyond in both and allowing only one run in each. He’s pitched 14.2 innings with a 3.68 ERA.

Jackson Kowar, however, has struggled in the big leagues and at Triple-A. In his first start for the Storm Chasers, he lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up three hits, three runs and four walks.

In the bullpen, there have been plenty of promising results. The good pitching Jose Cuas displayed in spring training continues. In five relief appearances, Cuas has pitched six innings with a masterful 1.42 ERA. He’s also struck out nine and walked just one.

Former first-round draft pick Foster Griffin continues to work his way back from Tommy John Surgery. He has a 2.70 ERA in six relief innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.