Jackson Kowar, RHP
Kowar’s above-average curveball and plus-plus change-up are not the problem here. Marcus Meade over at Royals Farm Report broke down what is going on with Jackson Kowar’s snag in development.
"His problem is, and has always been, his fastball. Sure, it sits around 94-96 MPH, but it also gets hit … a lot."
Kowar has been having release issues and lack of extension on his arm for release on his fastball. He is an over-the-top pitcher mechanically and tends to miss up (early release) and down (late release) which either ends up out of the strike-zone or in a very hittable location.
If Kowar corrects this mechanical problem this spring he will take off in his development. Outside of Asa Lacy, Jackson Kowar in my opinion has the most potential amongst the Royals’ pitching prospects. His curveball and change-up are devastating pitches, he has the ability to make hitters look really foolish. Kowar projects to be a No. 2/3 type starter (>3.00 FIP) without improvement to his fastball mechanics he projects to be a No. 4 type starter (4.00 FIP).
Asa Lacy, LHP
Efficiency is the keyword with Lacy, who has outstanding stuff with a mix of four quality pitches with three being plus pitches in quality outings. He generates quite a few strikeouts but also struggles with command from time to time. This will limit the length of his appearances and cause more wear and tear on his arm. Getting through 2021 spring training healthy with some efficient outings will be important for Lacy.
Lacy should be incredibly fun to watch this spring. He can look absolutely dominant, but he is not a pitcher with a chance to break into MLB this season. Lacy has the best potential amongst the pitching prospects in the Royals system. He projects to be a No. 2 type starter (>3.00 FIP) and he stays healthy during his development he has a good chance to reach his potential.