Kansas City Royals: Five-year rotation plan looks pretty darn good

Kris Bubic #37 of the American League Futures Team (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Kris Bubic #37 of the American League Futures Team (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals might not have a solid rotation right now, but five years from now, that hopefully won’t be the case.

After taking five consecutive college pitchers with their first five picks in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Kansas City Royals made it clear that they were focusing on starting pitching for their next World Series run, whenever that may be.

This year, they struck gold when Asa Lacy fell to them at fourth overall and if all goes according to plan, he’ll be a huge piece of their rotation moving forward.

But, before we dive more into that, let’s discuss the current state of the Royals rotation.

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It’s no secret that Danny Duffy, Jakob Junis, Brad Keller, and Mike Montgomery will make up at least four of the five spots (and Keller is currently out due to testing positive for COVID-19), but Joel Reuter had Jorge Lopez grabbing that five spot in his five-year plan for each MLB team.

Keller is a young and promising pitcher, but there is a chance that he could be moved back to the bullpen, which is where he initially was slotted in at when he made his MLB debut in Kansas City. There is a decent chance that he’s still a part of the Royals rotation in five years honestly, as he’s only 24 years old. His contract runs out after 2023 though, so it’ll depend if the team retains him or not.

Duffy and Montgomery obviously won’t be in the long-term plans due to their ages. Both are slated to hit free agency at the end of the 2021 season. Junis is someone who needs to really up the ante if he wants to stick in the rotation moving forward.

While Reuter went with Lopez as the fifth option, don’t be shocked if 2018 first round pick Brady Singer can work his way into the rotation as early as this season. Jesse Hahn and Glenn Sparkman were also listed as potential options for the fifth starter.

Now, let’s discuss the future of the rotation.

I already mentioned how Keller could still be an option, but he might not be retained past 2023 and the Royals have a lot of promising young arms in their farm system. Reuter has the rotation looking like this in five years:

Four of the five pitchers listed there were taken in the 2018 MLB Draft while Lacy was the first rounder in this year’s draft. If they ended up being the rotation in 2024, Royals fans would be absolutely ecstatic.

While there’s no guarantee that all of these names from the 2018 draft make it to the big leagues, they’ve impressed so far in their young minor league appearances. We haven’t gotten to see anything out of Lacy yet, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t come in and contribute to this rotation in a few years.

This group very well could make up the Royals rotation in five years and if that ends up happening, it’d give them one of the best young rotations in all of Major League Baseball.

What do you think the Kansas City Royals’ rotation will look like in five years?