Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Royals News

4 Royals pitching prospects make spring debuts

@FlannyMLB
February 23, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals got a glimpse of their future on Sunday, as their top four pitching prospects all made their spring debuts, mostly in impressive fashion. Kansas City lost to Cleveland, 9-5, at Surprise Stadium, as right-handers Brady Singer, the Royals’ first-round pick in 2018, and Jackson Kowar,

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals got a glimpse of their future on Sunday, as their top four pitching prospects all made their spring debuts, mostly in impressive fashion.

Kansas City lost to Cleveland, 9-5, at Surprise Stadium, as right-handers Brady Singer, the Royals’ first-round pick in 2018, and Jackson Kowar, the No. 33 overall pick of the same Draft, each pitched in relief.

Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic pitched Sunday morning in a “B” game, a 4-2 loss to the Rangers.

Here’s the rundown on how the four prospects fared.

RHP Brady Singer (Royals' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline)
ETA:
Midseason 2020

Singer, the No. 18 overall pick in 2018, retired the Tribe in order in the fourth inning, collecting a pair of strikeouts. His four-seam fastball sat at 95 mph, and he got Domingo Santana looking with the pitch. Singer then struck out Franmil Reyes with a slider down and away.

Singer said he had no idea what hitters he faced.

“I was just looking at my target and trying to hit that,” Singer said. “Everything felt really strong, really good.”

Singer has been trying to work on his changeup, but he threw only one in his spring debut. He said it was simply special to get his first Spring Training appearance in the books.

“Of course it is,” Singer said. “There were some jitters. But I was happy with how it went. I had pretty good command.”

RHP Jackson Kowar (No. 5)
ETA:
Midseason 2020

Kowar gave up a home run on a 1-2 changeup to Gavin Collins in the seventh inning, the first batter he faced. While Kowar’s velocity was eye-popping, touching 98 mph at times, his command during the outing was off.

Kowar hit a batter -- right after the home run -- walked another and gave up an RBI single. Another run scored on an error. He left after throwing 28 pitches.

“I definitely got some fastballs and changeups up in the zone,” Kowar said. “A lot of elevated balls, and those don’t get outs anywhere. Definitely nice to get the first one out of the way. Something to build on.

“I’ll just come into work tomorrow and get back at it.”

On the positive side, Kowar threw several superb curveballs.

“Yeah, that was the one pitch I had working,” Kowar said, smiling. “Usually, it’s the other way around.”

LHP Daniel Lynch (No. 3)
ETA:
2021

Lynch faced five Rangers hitters in Sunday morning's "B" game and didn't allow a hit. He induced two popouts and a flyout before hitting a batter.

Lynch, the No. 34 overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, finished his outing with a strikeout looking on a slider that nicked the inside corner.

“It was fun,” Lynch said. “Even though it was on the backfields, it was still exciting. Going against Willie Calhoun, a big leaguer, you know who that is, so that was cool.

“Had some nerves, but maybe not as much as I’d have had [in the stadium]. So, maybe it’s kind of a blessing to get that first one out of the way on the backfields.”

Lynch said the popouts were a good sign.

“I think that’s a good indication there was some good ride on the fastball,” Lynch said.

LHP Kris Bubic (No. 6)
ETA:
2021

Bubic, the No. 40 overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, pitched two innings in the "B" game, striking out three.

Bubic, who led the Minor Leagues in strikeouts in 2019 with 185, gave up an opposite-field home run to the first hitter he faced, catcher Nick Ciuffo.

“That was my ‘Welcome to Spring Training’ moment,” Bubic said, smiling. “It was a 3-2 fastball. Didn’t want to walk him, so you just challenge him there. It was elevated a little.”

Bubic has been using a spike grip for his curveball since last season.

“For me, it’s all about consistency with my curveball,” Bubic said. “That’s plagued me in years past. Last year was the first time I really had a curveball.”

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.