Happy New Year and welcome back! We have now been writing about the Royals farm system for 18 months and it’s only going to get better from here. We started off our original prospect rankings with 30, expanded to 100, and now we’re coming back to earth a bit. Are there 100 worthy names in the Kansas City Royals system? Absolutely. Are there always 100 names worthy of being on the list…well…
So here we go. The Kansas City Royals top 75 prospects as brought to you by six members of your Royals Farm Report staff. Joel, Drake, Drew, Josh, Pat, and I voted on our top 75 Royals prospects and then ran a collective ranking. We will release five prospects a day, starting with 75, working our way down to #5 where our top 5 prospects will all get their own article. So, without further ado, here we go!
3. Daniel Lynch, LHP
DOB: 11/17/1996 (22 YO)
Ht/Wt: 6’6″ 190′
Levels Played, 2018: Rookie, A
Acquired: 2018 MLB Draft
2018 Stats (A): 40 IP, 1.58 ERA, 1.90 FIP, 10.58 K/9, 1.35 BB/9, 0.23 HR/9, 49.5% GB%
Projected level to begin 2019: A+
When the Royals drafted Daniel Lynch 34th overall last June, I am not afraid to admit that I was not the highest on him. During Lynch’s sophomore season in 2017 at Virginia, he posted an ERA of 5.00, 5.24 K/9, and 3.38 BB/9 in 77 innings. His fastball was reportedly sitting in the upper-80’s and topping out around 90-91. After his spring season with Virginia was wrapped up, Lynch went to the Cape Cod League and absolutely tore up his competition. He returned to Virginia for his junior season, was significantly better than in 2017, and soared up draft boards.
Lynch’s prospect status is a bit of a weird case. If you just looked at his college numbers in a vacuum, you would never expect him to be a first round pick. But he went through a bit of a change during his junior season that allowed him to become a better pitcher than he’d ever been before. Lynch underwent something of a mechanical change during his junior season and saw not only an increase in performance, but something of a significant increase in velocity as well.
The point of that is to say that Lynch is a bit of a late bloomer. 2018 was the first real dominant stretch we’ve seen from Lynch and boy was he dominant. In Keith Law’s recent write up for his top 100 prospects, he says that if the 2018 MLB Draft was redone today, Daniel Lynch would go in the top 10. There will certainly be a number of teams that regret passing on Lynch, as the 6′ 6″ LHP was gunned between 95-97 mph at times this summer.
(Photo Credits: Doc Riddle (@TheGrandOldGame))
In any other year, Lynch would’ve seen Wilmington in 2018 with a shot to begin 2019 in AA. He absolutely dominated his first bout with professional baseball, and had it not been for the Lexington Legends competing for a playoff spot, Lynch would’ve almost certainly been promoted to Wilmington.
Lynch has finally started to get some national attention. Keith Law put Lynch in his top 100 prospects list and MLB Pipeline mentioned Lynch as a “LHP to watch” in 2019. If Lynch can find even remotely as much success in 2019 as he had in 2018, he could be a top 50 prospect in all of baseball by the end of 2019. He’s got plenty of room to grow and we may have just scratched the surface with Lynch in 2018. He’s going to be a ton of fun to watch this summer.
Photo Credits: PLPhoto2015 (@PPhoto2015)