Josh Staumont

Position: RHSP
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Surprise Saguaros
League: Arizona Fall League
Born: 12/21/1993 (Age: 26)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 2nd Rd., 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft (KCR)

Prospect Spotlight

While his overall BB/9 rate of 7.6/9 IP over two levels can stand out as a cause for concern with his command profile, Staumont finished up the year improving those numbers to 2.9/9 over his last five starts (34 1/3 innings) of the season, while his SO/9 bumped up to a eye-popping 13.1/9 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas from an 11.6 rate at High A Carolina.

The Royals’ 2015 second rounder looked strong in his first AFL appearance, going three shutout innings and giving up just two hits and a walk, and striking out three.  His mechanics looked smooth and repeatable in this viewing, using a full windup with a high leg kick and staying tall with moderate extension to get some downhill plane.

His fastball sat in the 92-to-96 mph range, though he reached back for 98 mph twice in the 2nd inning.  He gets varying mild-to-moderate cut action in the lower velo band, and with late life and run to the armside in the higher ranges.  His FB command issues were mostly to the glove side, with the late life taking it out of the zone, and he did get squared up for three loud outs going up in the zone to challenging hitters.  His most impressive offering was his plus curveball, which showed above-average depth and sharp late dive on an 11-to-5 plane, and it was used most effectively as a chase pitch when it followed the higher-velo fastball.  The curve sat in the 77-to-81 mph range, but he showed great feel for the pitch, dialing it up with some snap into the 82-to-83 mph range for put-away.  He threw just two changeups, which were effectively mixed in at 78 and 80 mph with some dive.

So in a perfect world you’d like to see a developing changeup that reaches fringe-average or better to stay in the rotation.  But his use as a starter this year seems more an exercise in building innings (123.1 IP) and arm strength in preparation for a transition to the pen, perhaps as early as next year.  The two plus pitch profile and improvements in command later in the season screams late-inning, shutdown reliever who could give you multiple innings.