Potential Closers for Kansas City Royals – No. 6: Josh Staumont
Royals fans were thrilled at the production they saw from Josh Staumont last season, as the flamethrowing righty finished the year with a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 innings thrown. Staumont was so good that there were even rumors he could be traded during the season.
Staumont was clutch in 2020 and that’s what teams want their closers to be. As good as Staumont was, however, he has yet to notch any saves during his MLB seasons so he probably won’t be put into that role unless the team is desperate or in a unique situation.
Staumont could do well as a seventh-inning or setup man for the Royals moving forward, but he probably won’t be the team’s closer in 2021.
Potential Closers for Kansas City Royals – No. 5: Kyle Zimmer
Well, it took almost a decade, but Royals fans finally got to see 2012 first-rounder Kyle Zimmer wow on the mound. Zimmer, who battled injuries throughout most of his career, finally remained healthy for an entire season and the end result was a good one.
Zimmer’s 2020 campaign saw him throw 23 innings and finish the season with a 1.57 ERA. The Royals used Zimmer both in short outings and also in long-relief situations, which is probably going to be where they continue to utilize him.
His longest outing was against the Cubs when he threw three scoreless innings in an eventual Royals loss. While Zimmer could be an intriguing closer candidate, he’s better suited in a long-relief role for Kansas City.
Potential Closers for Kansas City Royals – No. 4: Tyler Zuber
If this were a post picking the closer of the future for the Royals, Tyler Zuber would be No. 1, but the post is about who the closer will be in 2021. Zuber looked good in the final month of the season, allowing just one run in the entire month of September.
Zuber has the chops to be the closer in the coming years, but he simply needs more innings this year to improve his command and his confidence for such a taxing role. He definitely showed promise down the stretch last year and the Royals hope to see that version of Zuber in 2021 and beyond, especially if he truly will be their closer of the future.