The big Brady Singer season the KC Royals have waited for is here

The 2024 campaign could be Singer's best yet.

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Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman's 2024 KC Royals player projection series. Over the next few weeks, we'll be reviewing how various Royals performed last year and predicting how they might fare this season. Up today is pitcher Brady Singer.

It may be that Royals starter Brady Singer, the star of a 2018 Kansas City draft class loaded with highly talented pitchers, has more raw talent than any other hurler currently working in the club's spring camp.

But for Singer, whose major league debut in 2020 was spurred as much by the pandemic that shortened the season to 60 games as it was anything else — the Royals certainly didn't want to risk hampering such a talented prospect's development by assigning him to their Alternate Training Site, where he'd spend the summer pitching to teammates instead of sharpening his skills against major leaguers — his four-season big league career has been a disappointment.

Yes, he won the club's Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year award after he went 10-5 with a 3.23 ERA two seasons ago, but the aggregate 17-26, 5.03 record clouding his other three campaigns isn't at all what the Royals expected of Singer when they chose him with their first pick of that 2018 draft.

The source most frequently blamed for Singer's inconsistency is, of course, that he's primarily a two-pitch pitcher who relies too much on his sinker-slider combo, and not enough on the changeup he simply hasn't, for whatever reason, sufficiently worked into his small repertoire. He's often great when the sinker and slider both work well, but frequently average to mediocre when one or the other, or both, abandon him.

All that, however, is about to change. It seems Singer is adding a couple of pitches.

Brady Singer is working on new pitches this spring

Per MLB.com Royals beat writer Anne Rogers, and as evidenced by what he threw during his first Cactus League outing last week, Singer's pitch collection is definitely expanding — expect to see a lot more of the sweeper he used a few times last season, and the four-seamer he's had but rarely thrown. And Singer seems convinced that he's on the right path, telling Rogers, "Last year, I was trying to learn new things while I was struggling. I knew what I had to fix and knew it would help me this year. Now, it's about using those pitches the right way and competing like I know how."

Will his new approach pay off?

How FanGraphs projects Brady Singer's 2024 KC Royals season

FanGraphs (Depth Charts) predicts Singer will start 29 games and go 10-11, 4.44 over 167 innings. If that happens, he'll tie his career-high for wins and starts, and pitch a few more innings than he ever has in a single season. But such an effort won't be stellar.

How Brady Singer will actually pitch this year

Look for better numbers from Singer than FanGraphs projects, and much better than the 8-11, 5.52 he posted last season. Instead, and what will prove to be due in great part to utilizing five pitches instead of just his sinker, slider, and a seldom-seen changeup, Singer will establish a new career-best win total with at least 14, and will get his ERA under 4.00 (probably in the 3.00-3.10 range) for only the second time.

And he'll give the Royals the kind of season they've always wanted from him.

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