The KC Royals have two pitching prospects off to good starts at Columbia.
The Fireflies should add Frank Mozzicato and Ben Kdurna sometime around mid-season 2022. Until then, there are still a couple of Columbia pitchers to follow.
Delvin Capellan began his professional career at 18 by pitching in the 2017 Dominican Summer League and in 56 innings struck out 48 hitters, walked just three and posted an 0.48 ERA. Capellan, who starts this season in Columbia once again, has a 2.08 ERA in 4.1 innings and has struck out five and walked two.
Ben Hernandez and Rylan Kaufman were both drafted out of high school, Hernandez in 2020’s second round and Rylan Kaufman in 2018’s 12th round.
Kaufman, 23, made 20 starts for the Fireflies in 2021 with mixed results. In 81.2 innings, he posted an excessive 5.95 ERA, but also struck out 94. However, a deeper look reveals he struck out 94 hitters (10.4 SO/9) and walked 37. Those peripheral stats point to better results on the horizon for Kaufman, which he’s had this season—in two games (5.2 innings), he hasn’t given up an earned run and, in his last appearance, struck out five and gave up a run, a walk and four hits in 3.1 innings.
Ben Hernandez has also started this season well. The young righty has made just one start but was phenomenal—he went four scoreless innings, allowed only one hit and one walk and struck out four.
If Kauffman and Hernandez can break out this season, the Royals’ pitching outlook could approach one of the best in all of baseball.
There are plenty of promising prospects in Kansas City’s farm system.