In case you missed it, Daniel Lynch came in at #3 on our list of top 75 Royals prospects. Lynch was the 34th overall pick in the 2018 draft out of the University of Virginia, and found immediate success in professional baseball, posting a 1.58 ERA with Lexington and helping the Legends win the South Atlantic League title in 2018.
You could say it was something of a hectic year for the Royals lefty. Lynch was not highly regarded as a first round talent to begin the year, but by the end of it, ESPN’s Keith Law had Lynch in his top 100 MLB prospects list and mentioned that Lynch would probably go in the top 10 if the draft was redone today.
Here at Royals Farm Report, we try to talk with as many players as possible to try to bring you guys as much information on the minor league process as possible. Daniel was kind enough to answer some questions for us, and for you, to give us some insight on his 2018 season.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you have been working on this off-season?
DL: “This off-season I’ve really just been trying to improve the efficiency of my mechanics and work on getting my change-up to a place where I feel comfortable throwing it in any count.”
Q: What was your, “Welcome to professional baseball,” moment?
DL: “My ‘Welcome to professional baseball’ moment had to be getting shipped off to Arizona right after the draft. It was a hectic couple of days trying to get everything together and then most of the newly drafted guys got out there with really no expectations. It was completely new and all a bit overwhelming at first.”
Q: You had a couple of elite level catching prospects in Lexington. How much easier do they make your job as a pitcher?
DL: “I was lucky to have MJ catch me every start except for one. He and I formed a great relationship and he really took accountability for getting to know how I like to pitch and what my strengths were. I am very grateful for that, it makes my job easier knowing we’re on the same page. The same thing goes for Sebastian, he took controlling the game and being a leader very seriously and it showed by the way he handled the staff.”
Q: The Royals drafted a ton of college pitchers early on in 2018. How does it feel to be a member of that group that they think so highly of?
DL: “It’s a pretty cool thing to have so many guys in a draft class that can relate to each other. So many of us pitched in college and went through similar experiences in those few years that certainly carry over to professional baseball. I’m really excited to continue to get to know everyone as we work through spring training and the years to come.”
Q: What are your personal goals for 2019?
DL: “My goal for myself is always finding a good routine and sticking with it through the ups and downs. When I’m in my routine I feel prepared and when I feel prepared I’m freed up to just go out and compete.”
Q: There were rumors of you making some mechanical adjustments in 2018. Did those adjustments help lead to some added fastball velocity, or the development of your curve ball?
DL: “I’m not sure if it was really an adjustment as much as it was just getting back to being myself and throwing how my body wanted to throw naturally. I think freeing myself from thinking at all while I was competing probably led to a little bit more velocity but I really don’t know.”
So there ya go. Daniel Lynch’s 2018 in his own words. Daniel seems like a great kid that I can’t wait to watch develop in the Royals system. Daniel seems destined to start 2019 with High-A Wilmington, but given his dominance in 2018, I wouldn’t expect him to be there long. I fully expect Lynch to log most of his innings in 2019 with AA Northwest Arkansas and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him receive AAA innings before the year is over. Kansas City appears to have found the steal of the 2018 draft in Daniel Lynch.
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