Hello and welcome. It feels like forever since we did our first ever Top 100 list this winter. We’ll be updating our lists throughout the year to include new prospects, but we’ll vote on a new top 100 twice a year. One mid-season, one in the offseason. In case you missed our last top 100 segment, here is a link to every write up we did this winter.
This season, our top 100 we’ll consist of an aggregate of four of our writers’ individual lists. We average the lists out to give you a consensus top 100.
Check out the rest of our list here:
5. Jackson Kowar, RHP
Ht/Wt: 6’5″ 180 lbs
Levels Played, 2018: A-
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
2018 Stats (A-): Don’t worry about it
Here we go ladies and gents. The top 5 prospects in the Royals system. By now you know who they are. Brady Singer, MJ Melendez, Seuly Matias, and Khalil Lee are left. Find out what order they will go in next week. For now, let’s dive into Mr. Kowar.
Jackson Kowar has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Royals organization. I will say that both confidently and wholeheartedly. There is not a single pitcher in the ENTIRE FRANCHISE (yes, including the big league club) with the ability to be a better pitcher than Jackson Kowar. Does that mean he’ll for sure reach his ceiling? Of course not. But the kid is special. I mean, he’s realllllllly good.
A 6′ 5″ righty from the University of Florida, scouts and coaches raved about Kowar’s stuff. Kowar typically features a fastball that sits between 93 and 95 with a good downward plane. Adam McIntruff said recently that Kowar probably possesses the ability to throw the ball 100 mph if he was really trying. He possesses a changeup that looks like it belongs in a cartoon, and his curveball is actually a really nasty pitch, he just doesn’t control it very well yet.
Great. So the Royals drafted Noah Syndergaard. Why is he at number 5 on this list and not number 1?
Well, for the same reason that I didn’t give you the stats above. He’s currently only thrown 5.1 innings for Lexington, but he’s walked 4 batters and given up 6 runs. His fastball can flatten out on him at times and, if he’s not locating his curveball, makes him very hittable. Kowar induces tons of ground balls, but sometimes that can lead to him getting BABIP’d all over the place when his swing-and-miss stuff isn’t there.
Kowar’s first step towards becoming an ace will be to refine his command. He’s going to have to keep walks to a minimum to reach his ceiling. Item number two will be to master some sort of breaking ball. It doesn’t have to be Junis’ slider or Kershaw’s curveball. It just needs to be a good pitch, because his changeup may be one of the best in baseball.
The comp I’ll give you for Jackson Kowar would be if Rick Porcello and Noah Syndergaard had a love child. Lots of down hill tilt. The potential for elite velocity. An elite-caliber changeup and wicked breaking ball. That would be Kowar’s ceiling. In my opinion, there’s a real chance that Kowar becomes one of the 3-4 best players from his draft class when it’s all said and done.
There’s also a chance that he’s a back of the rotation guy that does okay but always leaves you wanting more. Think Yordano Ventura (RIP). The stuff was always there, it just didn’t add up all the time.
Excited yet? You should be. The Royals made out like bandits in the 2018 MLB Draft, and Jackson Kowar may have been the biggest steal of them all.