The Royals were expected to make at least a few transactions in the coming days, such as activating Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon off the DL. But with the unexpected DL move of Justin Grimm, the Royals have called up LHP Eric Stout, who is making his first appearance on a major league 25-man roster.
Stout is a 25-year-old LHP who was drafted in the 13th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Butler. Working as a bullpen arm for pretty much his whole minor league career, Stout had a career year in Omaha last year, appearing in 45 games spanning a total of 69.1 innings, posting a 2.99 ERA and 4.24 FIP.
Stout appeared in five games with the Royals this spring, allowing eight hits and seven runs in 5.1 innings, striking out five. He started 2018 in the Omaha Storm Chasers bullpen, posting a 4.70 ERA and 4.31 FIP in 7.2 innings thus far, striking out six and walking five.
We here at Royals Farm Report ranked Stout as the Royals #38 prospect in our top 100 series.
Another recent 40-man roster addition, Eric Stout was well deserving of his spot on the roster, consistently pitching well as a reliever throughout his minor league career. Stout really impressed in the Storm Chasers bullpen this year (2.99 ERA, 4.24 FIP), with most of the success coming against lefties, holding them to an opposing slashline of .193/.264/.301.
Stout is a lanky lefty that throws at a 3/4 arm slot with a nice and easy delivery. His fastball sits around 92-93 MPH. I love his slider. It features great vertical movement that induces a lot of weak contact, sitting around 82-83 MPH. He also features a hard changeup.
We also put out a “prospect watch” on him.
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.
Photo Credits: Minda Haas Kulhmann