Royals' Staumont stingy in Fall League win

K.C.'s No. 10 prospect has walked one in seven innings after leading Minors in walks

Royals' Staumont stingy in Fall League win

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In the Surprise Saguaros' 3-1 win over the Salt River Rafters Monday afternoon, Royals No. 10 prospect Josh Staumont threw four shutout innings, allowing the Rafters just one hit. And perhaps most notably, he didn't walk a batter.

"The biggest thing for me is control. We were working on that primarily the whole time," Staumont said. "Just getting the ball out of the glove early and kind of keeping it down in the zone."

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Staumont tossed 48 pitches, including 32 strikes. After leading the Minor Leagues in walks in 2016 with 104 in 123 1/3 innings, the 22-year-old from La Habra, Calif., has walked just one batter in seven Fall League frames. He walked at least one batter in each of his 29 regular season appearances this year, averaging 7.6 per nine innings.

Staumont struck out two batters, and the only hit he gave up came in the fourth inning off the bat of Dawel Lugo, the D-backs' No. 11 prospect, for a single over the first baseman's head into shallow right field. The 6-foot-3 right-hander threw 21 fastballs, averaging 95 mph and topping out at 98.

The productive pitching from Staumont and the Saguaros' bullpen resulted in a fast one hour and 59 minute game.

"When you have quick games, it means that both sides are competing and doing really well," Staumont said.

The Rafters only had one other base runner while the right-handed Royals pitcher was on the mound. Christin Stewart, the Tigers' No. 3 prospect, beat out a throw at first base from Surprise's right fielder Scott Heineman of the Rangers organization. It was ruled an error after Heineman bobbled the ball.

"That was a very good game, quick games are always nice," said Staumont, the 2015 second-round pick of the Royals, said. "Just kinda means that we're doing stuff right, there's not too much when it comes to errors and walks."

However, when Montana DuRapau, a prospect from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, replaced Staumont in the fifth inning, he gave up a solo home run to Jacob Nottingham, the Brewers' No. 14 prospect.

"It's baseball, it's unfortunate, but it's very rare that both teams get shut out so I mean, it's gonna happen," Staumont said. "But we won the game and that's all that matters."

DuRapau was relieved by Jalen Beeks, the Red Sox's No. 29 prospect, for the sixth inning, followed by the Royals' Eric Stout and Edgar Santana, the Pirates' No. 29 prospect.

After the solo home run, the Rafters had no response for the Saguaros bullpen.

"As a team, it's huge for a bullpen to come out and shut them out for six innings," Staumont said. "That's killer."

Monday's victory over the Rafters gave Staumont his second win in as many starts for the Saguaros.

Despite having a 4.23 ERA during his time with the Class-A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2016, Staumont has not allowed a runner to score in his two starts in the Arizona Fall League. He has only allowed three hits total in those seven innings and has struck out seven batters.

The Rafters host the Saguaros on Tuesday at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

Trisha Garcia is a sports journalism graduate student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.