Eric Stout is a recent 40 man roster addition and a big league camp invitee for the Royals. Stout was drafted in 2014 out of Butler University in the 13th round. Stout mostly started in college but like many pitchers would come back and throw relief at times during the week.
Going back to the days at St. Francis High School and Stout wasn’t considered to be at the top of his high school draft class. In fact, Stout came out of high school topping out at 86 mph according to his Perfect Game profile page. He was ranked as the 60th LHP in the 2011 HS class so it wasn’t a surprise to see Stout end up in college. Stout really developed as a pitcher while he grew into his 6’3″ frame.
Stout throws from a lower arm angle than most pitchers. He is part of the group of low 3/4’s LHPs the Royals covet and have been trying to stockpile. It almost looks like Stout just slings the ball at times. Guys that throw from this angle can be really tough to pick up and hit but can also struggle with control at times. Over the last two years Stout has walked just over 9% of hitters faced and sports a BB rate of 3.44 per 9. This is slightly above his career numbers to this point but shows where he is as far as control. Stout doesn’t strike out a batter per inning but is fairly close with 125 over the last 141.0 innings which represents his last two seasons. This equates to a 7.97 per 9 rate and 21.2% of hitters faced. So basically Eric walks 1 out of 10 and strikes out 2 of 10 (or 1 out of 5 for your math people who must simplify) leaving about 7 of 10 guys putting the ball in play. Stout also gives up close to 8 hits per 9. The numbers say he is an effective LHP out of the pen.
Stout threw 11 innings in the Arizona Fall League back in 2016. In that small sample size his numbers were pretty consistent with the last two years at Omaha and Northwest Arkansas. He struck out 11, walked 4, and gave up 10 hits over the course of his 171 pitches. I think it is safe to say that his MLB numbers should be on par with this. But of course things sometimes don’t end up as projected. Against team’s top 20 prospect lists he was pretty solid allowing only a .204 average against while striking out 41, walking 16, and giving up 38 hits including 4 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 home runs. This comes back at a 19.7% K rate with a 7.7% BB rate which are very close to his career norms.
Stout throws in the low 90’s and uses a change and sweeping type of curve. I’ve seen him throw multiple times in person and he always has a little movement on that fastball and seems to get some weak swings. Stout is more of a ground ball pitcher even though the numbers seem to suggest he gets more outs in the air. If you figure in the base hits allowed though you come up with 58 balls on the ground versus 46 in the air last year. Most of this data was pulled from MLBFarm.com which is a great site if you don’t use it.
It should also be noted that Stout works out with Cressey Performance.
Stout is a solid addition to the Royals 40 man roster and is also a guy that former pitching coach Dave Eiland is said to have liked. In fact, Eiland mentioned Stout as a guy to watch in camp last year. Stout will start the year in Omaha and use one of his options. There is an outside chance he could make his major league debut this year depending on, of course, if the Royals decide to make some more trades. Injuries are also a major factor for when a guy gets the call. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in September getting some seasoning in preparation for the next window of contention.
Photo credit to the Omaha Storm Chasers website.