3 KC Royals Top-30 prospects with perfect starts to the 2024 season

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22. Hunter Owen

Kansas City drafted Hunter Owen, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt University, in the fourth round of this past draft. Owen had first-round stuff and collegiate performance, but health and durability concerns impacted his draft stock. His loss could be the Royals' gain, though, and he is outperforming his competition with the High-A Quad Cities River Bandits.

Owen has an imposing mound presence, standing 6 feet 6 inches. The righty hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any of his four starts, currently sporting a 1.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Owen capped off his April with a one-hit, six-inning shutout win over the Beloit Sky Carp, striking out six in the process. His 3.83 K/BB ratio is exactly what the River Bandits staff needs, while he has only allowed one home run this season.

Owen sports a strong four-pitch mix, headlined by his slider. His low walk amount this season backs up his control, which had been a concern during his collegiate career.

Owen did not pitch following the 2023 MLB draft due to an undisclosed injury. The righty should not last long in High-A, clearly overmatching his opposition so far this season. Double-A will be Owen's true benchmark, putting his pitching arsenal to the test.