Royals prospect Staumont is flame thrower

Righty hitting 98-102 mph on radar gun, working on command at Class A

Royals prospect Staumont is flame thrower

KANSAS CITY -- Want to know who will be the next great power arm for the Royals?

It just might be 22-year-old Josh Staumont, a second-round pick in the 2015 Draft out of Azusa Pacific University -- yes, that is the same school that produced former Kansas City Chiefs great Christian Okoye.

Staumont, a right-hander and the Royals' No. 18-ranked prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, regularly can hit 98-102 mph on the radar gun.

"There's nobody we have that throws the ball as easy and as hard as he does," Royals assistant general manager/player personnel J.J. Picollo said. "Even when he's throwing 98 it looks like he's just playing catch.

"He's got a really good curveball that is from 80-88. He needs work on his changeup. But there are nights he adds and subtracts like -- and I'm not saying Staumont is going to be like this -- but like Zack [Greinke] did."

But all that velocity and terrific stuff comes with one drawback -- Staumont lacks command. In 37 1/3 innings this season at Class A Advanced Wilmington, Staumont has struck out 50, but walked 37.

"The big thing with him is command obviously," Picollo said. "That is the issue that he'll continue to work on. But we don't have anyone quite like him."

Minor success
Left-hander Mike Minor, rehabbing from shoulder surgery last year, continues to build up his pitch count at Triple-A Omaha. He is in the 70-80 pitch range.

Minor's numbers aren't pretty at Omaha -- 11.42 ERA after two starts -- but that's mainly because he is focusing on fastballs and building his arm strength up.

"He is still trying to work on his command and building arm strength so he's not throwing his changeup much," Picollo said. "His results won't look great, but he's pitching better than his lines."

The Royals are hoping Minor could be ready for a call-up sometime in June.

Getting close
Picollo also said that right-hander and No. 2 prospect Kyle Zimmer (Double-A Northwest Arkansas) and right-hander Miguel Almonte (Omaha), the club's No. 4 prospect, could start throwing again within the week. Both have been resting shoulder fatigue.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.