The Royals may have some work to do with their farm system, but one of the crown jewels of the organization is flamethrower Josh Staumont, the right-handed pitcher who can hit 100 mph on the radar gun. Staumont struggled in his first outing for AAA Omaha, allowing seven runs in less than four innings of work last week against Colorado Springs. But on Thursday in his home debut in front of the crowd at Omaha, Staumont showed what he is capable of.
Staumont got the start against the Round Rock Express, the top affiliate of the Texas Rangers, and faced off against a lineup with some Major League veterans like Jared Hoying, Will Middlebrooks, and former Royals Brett Hayes and Travis Snider. Staumont struck out the side in the first inning, then duplicated the feat in the third and fourth innings. Staumont retired the first fourteen hitters he faced - ten of them via strikeout - before allowing a single to Ronald Guzman in the fifth. Staumont struck out Middlebrooks to end the sixth - his twelfth strikeout of the night, matching a career high.
Josh Staumont goes curve, curve, curve on his final batter to get former MLBer Will Middlebrooks for his 12th K of the night. pic.twitter.com/dxPb5IrIh0— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) April 14, 2017
Staumont's high velo for the inning in the 6th was 97.5 mph.— Clint Scoles BP (@ClintScoles) April 14, 2017
Staumont exited after six shutout innings, having allowed just one hit. Perhaps more importantly, he allowed just two walks, a huge development, since he had walked 104 hitters in 123 innings last year. In all, Staumont threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes. Nine of his twelve strikeouts were swinging. Only two balls left the infield. It was a sensational performance for one of the Royals top pitching prospects.
Matt Strahm took over for Staumont in the seventh, with the Storm Chasers leading 1-0 on an RBI double by Jorge Bonifacio.