Logan Gilbert would immediately be the Royals top pitching prospect. He is a potential future front end of the rotation guy who should be with the Royals by late-2020 if they get the chance to select him.
Gilbert is 6’6” with great extension and has a four-pitch mix. His stock has fallen slightly from last year’s perfect season. Gilbert was 10-0 as a sophomore at Stetson winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year award. He should be a should be a shoo-in to win the award again this year. Gilbert had 107 Ks compared to 26 BBs leaving him with a 4:1 ratio his sophomore year. Gilbert finished the season by pitching well in the Cape. There he was routinely 93-97 with an extension measured by TrackMan to be close to 7’6″.
This year has been better. Gilbert is 10-1 with 100.0 innings pitched allowing 60 hits, 20 BBs, and has 143 Ks. That strikeout to walk ratio comes in at over 7:1. Gilbert dropped in ranking early this season because he was working 90-92 instead of 92-95. There were concerns about his velo dropping off but it seems to be back where it was last year. The drop in velo was due to some nagging back pain that slowed his workout regimen but isn’t something that is considered a long term problem. Gilbert’s fastball usually sits about 92-94 and there are reports of him moving it into the upper 90s at times this spring. The fastball has good life and sinks into RHHs. I’ve read that he throws a plus 2-seamer. He throws an decent changeup with arm side run and some inconsistent tumble that continues to improve. Gilbert’s best off speed pitch is his curveball which drops away from righties. Scouts talk about it being a plus pitch. His slider is also good but not as good as the curve. It has a different movement to it. So in his arsenal, he has two plus pitches and two average to above average pitches.
Some top prospects are arrogant guys who you don’t want to be around. Gilbert is not one of those guys. Gilbert routinely helps set up for BP, keeps a chart willingly, carries his own bag, and goes out of his way to do things other guys don’t want to do. Servant leadership is a characteristic the Royals love and it something that Gilbert possesses. He has been described as intelligent and self-motivated who is a great clubhouse guy and someone you want on your team. His character and makeup receive a double plus grade.
If Gilbert falls to KC, he would be a fast track guy that would probably start in Lexington or Wilmington on a strict innings limit. To start 2019 he would probably be in Wilmington with a promotion to NWA by the All Star break. The Royals probably don’t want to rush him until they are competitive again but he would probably be pushing for a promotion to the big leagues by the All Star Break in 2020. I see the Royals slowing him down and not bringing him up until mid-August of 2020 at the earliest with a guaranteed cup of coffee in September. I doubt they would break camp of 2021 with Gilbert in the rotation but he would be up fairly quickly, probably by early June. I struggle to see Gilbert dropping to KC but weirder things have happened in the draft so you never know.
If you haven’t had the chance to watch him throw yet this season, you are missing out. Find a computer, load up ESPN 3, and watch Stetson against Hartford at 7:00 PM on Friday. I don’t know if he throws the first game of the Regional so you might have to watch G2 the next day. If you do watch him throw, you could be watching the Royals first selection in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Photo Credits: Stetson University