Full name is Jakob Benjamin Lee Junis…resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife, Brianne, daughter, Nelly and sons, Jones and Jett ... Graduated from Rock Falls High School (Ill.), where he earned all-state honors in baseball and basketball as a senior…posted a 1.10 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 51.0 innings and also hit .485 with 54 RBI in his final year ... Played in tournaments in Japan and Puerto Rico with high school all-star teams ... Bypassed a scholarship to play baseball at North Carolina State University when he signed with the Royals.
Made eight appearances, including six starts…opened the season on the injured list (July 19-Aug. 2), and made his season debut in the club’s 10th game…had a second stint on the IL (Aug. 16-25) and was optioned on Sept. 15, before being recalled on Sept. 23...Became the first Royals pitcher to start at least six games and not earn a win since Gil Meche (9 starts) in 2010...Allowed exactly two runs in each of his first four starts, in which he recorded 4.1, 4.2, 3.2 and 4.0 innings… became the first pitcher to surrender exactly two runs each of his first four starts since Boston’s Tim Wakefield in 2004...Yielded five runs on seven hits in each of his final two starts – Sept. 8 at Cleveland and Sept. 15 at Detroit...Made his final two appearances out of the bullpen, a pair of scoreless 1.0-inning outings – Sept. 23 vs. St. Louis and Sept. 25 vs. Detroit…marked his first relief outings since Aug. 18, 2017, snapping a streak of 75 consecutive outings as a starter...Struck out the side in his Sept. 23 appearance for just the fifth time in his career and first since July 20, 2019 at Cleveland (5th inning)...Issued just one walk to the final 66 batters he faced, over his final five-plus outings, including a streak of 46 batters faced without a walk…permitted just six walks in 25.1 innings for the season, marking a career-best 2.1 BB/9 rate, which led all KC hurlers that pitched at least 10.0 innings...Held opponents to a .227 average (5-for-22) with runners in scoring position, which just two of those hits going for extra-bases (.409 SLG)…he’s allowed no more than one hit with RISP in 20 of his last 26 outings, dating back to June 11, 2019, a stretch in which opponents have hit .238 (24-for-101) with a .366 slugging percentage (7 extra-base hits).
Made a career-high 31 starts and matched a career high with 164 strikeouts (also 2018), despite not pitching in KC's last 12 games of the season (last start was Sept. 15) ... Won nine games for the third consecutive season, becoming just the fourth Royal to reach at least nine wins in each of his first three seasons in the Majors, joining Mark Gubicza (1984-86), Rich Gale (1978-80) and Dick Drago (1969-71) ... He's the first pitcher in the Majors to win at least nine games in each of his first three seasons since Masahiro Tanaka from 2014-16…the last pitcher younger than Junis to do it was Gerrit Cole from 2013-15 ... Surrendered 31 home runs in 31 starts, tied for the sixth most in the American League, and one shy of his career high of 32 set in 2018 ... He's the fourth Royals pitcher to record at least an 8.0 K/9 (min. 162.0 IP) in consecutive seasons, joining Zack Greinke (2008-09), Kevin Appier (1994-96) and Tom Gordon (1989-90) ... He's one of five qualifying pitchers in the American League with a K/9 of 8.0 or better and a BB/9 of 3.0 or better in each of the last two seasons, joining Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Matthew Boyd and José Berríos ... Led the Royals with 164 strikeouts, 115 of which (70.1%) came via his slider, the fourth most strikeouts on sliders in the Majors, trailing Patrick Corbin (161), Justin Verlander (127) and Matthew Boyd (118) ... Had a career-high 10 strikeouts on July 15 vs. the White Sox, all of which came on his slider…in the Statcast Era (since 2015), only three pitchers have struck out more than 10 on sliders in a game: Jon Gray (12 on Sept. 17, 2016), Francisco Liriano (11 on May 24, 2015) and Chris Archer (11 on June 2, 2015)…Junis was the first to record double-digit strikeouts on sliders in a game since Patrick Corbin on June 22, 2018 ... Allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of eight starts from June 11-July 20, a stretch in which he had a 3.61 ERA (19 ER in 47.1 IP) ... Held opponents to one hit or fewer with runners in scoring position in 22 of his 31 starts, including eight straight from April 19-May 30 ... Allowed a season-high six hits in scoring situations on June 5 vs. Boston, but held opponents to a .182 average (12-for-66) with RISP over his next 15 starts from June 11-Aug. 28, the best mark in the American League during that time ... Held opponents to 0-for-19 with eight strikeouts in scoring situations, starting on July 2 and ending with a Mike Freeman RBI single in the third inning on July 26 vs. Cleveland ... His wife, Brianne, gave birth to their third child, Jett Lloyd, on July 23.
Made the Opening Day roster for the first time and set career highs in starts (30), innings (177.0) and strikeouts (164), which all led the club...Posted a 2.19 walk rate (43 BB in 177.0 IP), which ranked eighth among qualifying American League starters… enjoyed a streak of 118 consecutive batters faced without issuing a walk, from Aug. 17 to Sept. 16..Set a single-season franchise record with 15 hit batsmen, topping Jeremy Guthrie's (14) 2014 total…hit three batters in a game twice - April 9 vs. Seattle and July 2 vs. Cleveland... Surrendered 32 home runs, which were third-most in the Majors behind Baltimore's Dylan Bundy (41) and former Royal James Shields (33)…however, he allowed just six homers over his final 10 starts (61.0 IP)…allowed 22 home runs at Kauffman Stadium, setting a club record...Matched a franchise record, allowing five home runs in his April 26 start vs. the White Sox, matching Chris Young (May 9, 2016 at Yankees) and Sean O'Sullivan (May 28, 2011 at Texas)…it was the first time any pitcher has allowed five home runs in a game at Kauffman Stadium... Opponents batted .246 (120-for-488) against him the first two times through the lineup, but hit .310 off him (62-for200) after that...Became the first Royal to go 4-0 in a season vs. Detroit… posted a 1.95 ERA (8 ER in 37.0 IP) in five starts against the Tigers, which was the second-lowest season ERA by a Royal vs. Detroit, behind only Zack Greinke (1.00) in 2009, among pitchers that made at least five starts... Opened the season with 16.0-straight scoreless innings, marking the fourth-longest streak to begin a year in club history, behind only: Zack Greinke (24.0 IP) in 2009, Wade Davis (22.0 IP) in 2015 and Danny Jackson (18.0 IP) in 1985...Named Royals Pitcher of the Month for April, going 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA (12 ER in 32.1 IP) and a .181 opponents' average (21-for-116)...Over his first seven starts, was 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA (16 ER in 45.1 IP)…however, from May 28-July 2, went 0-7 with a 7.59 ERA (34 ER in 40.1 IP), dropping seven consecutive starts...After a stint on the disabled list (lower back inflammation) from July 8-21, went 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA (28 ER in 75.1 IP) after his return.
Went 9-3 with a 4.30 ERA (47 ER in 98.1 IP) in 20 appearances (16 starts) as a rookie across seven Major League stints ... His nine wins were one shy of Parker Bridwell for most among American League rookies, and were most among Royals rookies since the late Yordano Ventura (14) in 2014 ... Went 3-5 with a 2.92 ERA (23 ER in 71.0 IP) in 12 starts with Omaha (AAA), earning Omaha Pitcher of the Year honors ... Went 7-3 with a 4.16 ERA (43 ER in 93.0 IP) in 16 starts with Kansas City, and 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA (4 ER in 5.1 IP) in four relief appearances…according to Elias, he's the first Royals rookie with two wins as a starter and reliever since Tom Gordon in 1989 ... Made his Major League debut on April 12 vs. Oakland…he pitched a scoreless ninth inning, recording an inning-ending double play to erase a double and two walks ... Earned his first big league win on May 9 at Tampa Bay, pitching a scoreless 11th inning ahead of Mike Moustakas' go-ahead home run in the 12th ... Matched a minor league career high with 12 strikeouts in 7.0 scoreless innings (two hits) on May 26 at Nashville, tying for the most by an Omaha pitcher since the team began play in the Pacific Coast League in 1998 ... Made his first big league start on May 21 at Minnesota (Game 1), recording 4.0 scoreless innings before allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in the fifth…exited after 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts in a no-decision ... Earned his first big league win as a starter on June 11 at San Diego, holding the Padres to three runs-all solo HR-on six hits and one walk in 7.0 innings, with six strikeouts ... Named Royals Pitcher of the Month for August, going 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA (9 ER in 27.1 IP), best among American League rookies in five outings (four starts)…he's the fifth Royals rookie to go 3-0 or better in a calendar month (min. three starts), joining Kevin Appier (August 1990), Rich Gale (July and May 1978), Dennis Leonard (August 1975) and Steve Busby (September 1972) ... Became the first rookie to win Royals Pitcher of the Month honors since Louis Coleman in July 2011 and the first to do it as a starting pitcher since Brian Bannister in August 2007 ... Worked a career-high 8.0 innings in a 9-1 win on Aug. 6 vs. Seattle (Game 2), most by a Royals rookie since the late Yordano Ventura (8.1 IP) on July 4, 2014…became the seventh Royals rookie and first since Denny Bautista on April 8, 2005 to record 8.0 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks…retired his last 19 batters ... Pitched at least 6.0 innings with no walks in back-to-back starts on Aug. 6-14, becoming the first Royals rookie to do so since Luke Hochevar in June 2008 ... Recorded a career-high eight strikeouts on Aug. 29 vs. Tampa Bay and finished the month of August with 27 strikeouts and just two walks (8.89 K/BB), the best ratio in any calendar month by a rookie in 2017 ... Won five consecutive decisions over eight starts from Aug. 6-Sept. 20, going 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA (13 ER in 48.1 IP), .238 opponents' average (43-for-181), 38 strikeouts (7.08 K/9) and just five walks (0.93 BB/9)…his eight straight starts without a loss matched the second-longest streak by a Royals rookie, according to STATS, trailing only Dennis Leonard (10 straight) in 1975 ... Including his relief win on July 24 at Detroit, he won six consecutive decisions, matching the second-longest streak by a Royals rookie, one shy of Dennis Leonard (1975) and Tom Gordon (1989) ... Issued just 20 walks in 93.0 innings over 16 starts (1.94 BB/9), the fifth-best walk rate in the American League (min. 15 starts), trailing Josh Tomlin (0.89), Corey Kluber (1.59), Bartolo Colon (1.69) and Chris Sale (1.81) ... Went 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA (17 ER in 44.2 IP) in nine appearances (seven starts) at home ... The Royals went 11-5 (.688) in his 16 starts
Named Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year, posting the third-best ERA (3.25) in the Texas League...Pitched a flawless fourth inning at the Texas League All-Star Game in Springfield, Mo., recording a pair of strikeouts…also tabbed a postseason All-Star in the league...Ranked fourth in the Texas League in WHIP (1.15), tied for fourth in wins (9), sixth in strikeouts (117) and tied for 10th in starts (21)...Earned Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors on May 29, allowing one run on six hits over two starts (12.0 innings) during the previous week...tallied a season-high nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings vs. Arkansas in his final start with the Naturals…it was his highest strikeout total since 2013 with Idaho Falls (Rookie)...Promoted to Omaha (AAA) on Aug. 8 and finished the year with the Storm Chasers, going 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA over six starts.
Ranked among Carolina League (A) leaders in 2015, leading the league in innings (155.2), second in strikeouts (123), tied for second in starts (26), third in WHIP (1.12) and fourth in opponents' average (.251).
Named Lexington (A) Pitcher of the Year in 2014…finished eighth in the South Atlantic League in innings (136.0), tied for ninth in wins (9) and 10th in WHIP (1.28).
Finished eighth in the Pioneer League (Rookie) in strikeouts (55) in 2013…recorded a career-best 12 strikeouts in 7.0 innings on Aug. 13 vs. Billings.