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What to know about new Royals lefty Eric Stout

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He’s tough like a Bulldog.

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Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Royals have added 25-year old left-hander Eric Stout to the bullpen, replacing the struggling Justin Grimm, who was placed on the disabled list with back stiffness. The bullpen has been a big weakness for the Royals in the first few weeks, so this could be an opportunity for Eric Stout to make an impression on the organization. So who is Eric Stout?

Stout grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, attending St. Francis High School in Wheaton. He won 14 games with 159 strikeouts in a three-year career at Butler University in Indianapolis, home of the Bulldogs.

The Royals selected him in the 13th round of the 2014 June draft in his junior year. He is the fourth Royals player from that draft to reach the big leagues - all of them left-handed pitchers (Brandon Finnegan, Eric Skoglund, Tim Hill).

Stout has pretty much always been a reliever at the professional level, with 122 of his 125 games coming in relief. He has put up solid, albeit not eye-popping numbers, at every level. In 2016, he was assigned to the Arizona Fall League where he pitched well with a 2.77 ERA and 13 whiffs in 13 innings. The next spring he reached AAA and impressed with a 2.99 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. Lefties hit just .193/.264/.301 against him, and the performance was good enough for the Royals to add him to the 40-man roster that winter.

Drew Osborne at Royals Farm Report describes his delivery.

Stout throws from a lower arm angle than most pitchers. He is part of the group of low 3/4’s LHPs the Royals covet and have been trying to stockpile. It almost looks like Stout just slings the ball at times.

Clint Scoles reports Stout throws in the 91-93 mph range with a sinker and a slider, and a change up that is the pitch “that could make Stout a major league caliber reliever.”

Stout joins a bullpen that already includes lefties such as Brian Flynn and Tim Hill. But there are definitely bullpen jobs up for grabs, and Stout provides another option for Ned Yost as he tries to sort out all the new faces.