Kansas City Royals load up on pitchers with first five draft picks

Kansas City Royals first round draft pickJackson Kowar of the Gators (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals first round draft pickJackson Kowar of the Gators (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals had five picks on the first night of the 2018 MLB Draft and they used all of them on college pitchers.

The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a rebuild, so this year’s draft was critical for them. Fortunately, the Royals had five picks in the first round with four of them coming in the top 40 selections.

The Royals went after pitching this year, picking up college pitchers with all five of their Monday night selections. Developing drafted pitchers has been an area where the Royals have struggled over the years, so if even just one of these guys pan out, that’d be a big success for this franchise.

Kansas City used their first pick on Florida right-handed pitcher Brady Singer, who won a College World Series title with the Gators in the 2017 season. This year he had a 2.25 ERA and has continued to be a vital piece of Florida’s rotation as they look to win their second straight College World Series championship.

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Singer wasn’t the only Gator to hear his name called by the Royals, as his teammate Jackson Kowar was the organization’s pick at number 33 overall. Kowar had a 3.21 ERA this past season and while he’s not as big of a name as Singer, he has great potential.

Florida’s number two starter had a decent season, but struggled recently. That didn’t stop the Royals from putting their faith in him becoming a legitimate option for their rotation. According to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, Kowar is 24-6 throughout his college career and has pitched in 241.1 innings during that time.

One selection later, the Kansas City Royals drafted left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch out of Virginia. He had a 3.96 ERA with 105 strikeouts this past season. According to Sam Blum of the Daily Progress, Lynch improved tremendously this past season compared to his 5.00 ERA in 2017.

Closing out their selections, the Royals nabbed Stanford pitcher Kris Bubic at pick 40 and Jonathan Bowlan of Memphis with the 58th overall pick. Bubic had a 2.73 ERA for the Cardinal and Bowlan posted a 3.79 ERA with 104 strikeouts.

The Kansas City Royals clearly had their sights set on adding pitchers who could be ready to roll in two or three years, which could be when they’re competitive again. Baseball prospects don’t always pan out, but the Royals have increased their odds of having a solid pitcher to add to the rotation in the next few years.