Kansas City Royals top ten prospects for 2020

SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Khallil Lee #15 of the Kansas City Royals warms up before the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Khallil Lee #15 of the Kansas City Royals warms up before the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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4. Jackson Kowar

Minors (A+, AA): 148.1 innings, 7-10 record, 3.52 ERA, 1.240 WHiP, 43 walks, 144 strikeouts

Jackson Kowar may have the best two pitch combination in the Kansas City Royals farm system. However, he needs to develop a workable third offering if he is going to fulfill his potential.

That was the biggest knock on Kowar coming out of college. There was no questioning his fastball ad changeup, but his third pitch, a curve, was considered subpar at best. There was even talk of his potentially being asked to scrap the offering in exchange for a slider or a cutter. However, that has yet to happen.

Kowar’s fastball and change have certainly played up in the professional ranks. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, and can touch 97 MPH. His change, meanwhile, has excellent fade and deception, making his arguably his best pitch. Then there is the curve, which really acts more like a soft slider with curveball velocity. It has improved since he was drafted, but if the pitch does not develop further, that talk may come back.

At this point, that lack of a viable third offering is what is holding Kowar back the most. His stride is a bit short, and can cause his velocity to play down, but that is easily corrected. However, the lack of even a viable third offering will allow hitters at the higher levels to lay off his change and ambush the fastball, which could either stall his ascension or push Kowar to the bullpen.

The changeup and fastball are major league caliber offerings. However, if Jackson Kowar is to make an impact on the Kansas City Royals rotation in the future, he needs to find another pitch that he can use to keep hitters off balance.