Check out the most recent edition of our prospect rankings: 35-26.
#34: Josh Staumont, RHP
Age: 25 (December 21, 1993)
Birthplace: La Habra, CA
Ht: 6′ 3″ Wt: 200
Acquired: 2015 MLB Draft
2019 stats (Omaha): 43 IP, 2.51 ERA, 63 K, 32 BB
Doc wrote up a prospect watch on Evan Steele.
Over eight starts in 2019, Steele has posted a 1.50 ERA over 36 IP, allowing only 26 hits and nine walks against 35 K. He struck out a season-high seven on June 25th at home vs. Columbia in five shutout innings, allowing only two hits in what appeared to be an effortless outing for him. His most-recent start was on the road vs. Augusta, where he gave up one run on three hits, walking two and striking out only one, a season-low in Ks following his season-high seven vs. the Fireflies. Opposing hitters are batting only .203 against him, and he’s struck out 25.2% of batters faced in 2019 (18.7% K-BB%, 66.2% K pct.).
Eric wrote about the possibility of using Jorge Lopez as a bulk man after an opener.
One hypothesis I had for the bump in fastball usage was a possibility that Lopez was falling behind in counts and relying on it to get back even. Not the case either. So far this year, Lopez has only been behind in counts to hitters 55 times with more than half of those being in 3-2 counts. Meanwhile, Lopez has actually been quite good at getting ahead of batters with 96 counts to show (not counting even counts). So that nullifies that take. My only other plausible explanation is that Jorge Lopez is using his fastball way too much to help set up his off-speed offerings.
The Royals signed Erick Pena, one of the top international free agents in this year’s class.
Check out Minda Haas Kuhlmann’s “This Week in the Minors” over at Royals Review.