KC Royals Draft Review: Pitching, Pitching And More Pitching

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Jun 7, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a Royals cap and glove on the field prior to a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Ashe Russell has the chance to be a star. With a fastball at 92-95 and a haircut that screams cool, Russell has a commanding and confident presence on the mound. He was 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA his senior year of high school, and pitched during the Perfect Game All-American Classic and the Under Armour All-American game.

As KC Kingdom’s Paul York pointed out, Nolan Watson “may be the more polished pitching prospect over Russell.” Watson had committed to 2014 College World Series champion Vanderbilt, but after being taken in the first round, he most likely will sign with Kansas City.

As Jim Callis of MLB.com pointed out in York’s story, Watson “has four solid pitches,” which is something that scouts drooled over as he moved up the draft boards late in the process.

Pitching at a Division II university doesn’t mean you can’t bring the heat. Callis said Josh Staumont “has as much arm strength as any pitcher in the draft class.” This spring Callis reported that Staumont even reached 100 on the radar gun.

This past season as a sophomore, Staumont was 6-2 with a 3.67 ERA. He struck out an insane 109 batters in just 68 2/3 innings of work. While holding opposing hitters to a .155 batting average, according to the school’s website. His one drawback could be control. In addition to his strikeouts, he also walked a team-high 54 batters, likely contributing to an ERA pushing four.

Next: Rounds 3-10