KC Royals: Who's next in line for a big extension?

Bobby Witt Jr. is in for the long haul. Who should the club extend next?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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Buying stock in Brady Singer

Despite their awful 2023 season, the Royals aren't devoid of talented young players. Outside of Witt and Pasquantino, though, none of them have proven enough to warrant an extension, so if the club is handing out money, it becomes a game of speculation and buying low. Pitching has been this team's greatest weakness, but there are a couple of intriguing candidates on the mound.

Many fans are understandably focused on Cole Ragans, especially after hisremarkably good second-half last season. The Royals need Ragans to at least come close to repeating that performance if they hope to soon reach their ceiling, but it might not be a bad idea to pump the brakes a bit. Starting pitching is notoriously volatile, and Ragans has an injury history to boot, so the club might be better served holding off until Ragans proves 2023 wasn't an outlier.

In the meantime, Brady Singer is an interesting alternative even if he's coming off arguably the worst season of his young career and has been a model of inconsistency.

Singer is one member of the Royals' once-ballyhooed but now disappointing 2018 draft class who's flashed an upside. Yes, consistency has been a struggle, and at times he's appeared resistant to completely embracing a third pitch. But after starting 2022 in the bullpen and a short trip back to the minors, he finished 10-5 with a 3.23 ERA for a bad Kansas City team.

Whether to extend Singer boils down to the Royals believing he'll find and embrace that third pitch and that his best is yet to come. Now, the timing might be right to buy low — the road ahead may be bumpy, but if the team thinks Singer can be a solid mid-rotation pitcher, this is the time to gamble.