Always blessed with tremendous arm strength, Staumont and his premium velocity stood out at Azusa Pacific in California and allowed him to go in the second round of the 2015 Draft. Pitching in a rotation for his first two full seasons, the right-hander missed bats and walked batters at a very high rate. That was still the case in 2018 with a move to the bullpen and while the command is still an issue, he pitched well enough to called up to the big leagues for the first time in July 2019.
Staumont has the kind of premium stuff teams covet in a big league reliever. His fastball topped out at 99.3 mph and averaged nearly 96 with Royals last season. While the pitch has late life and jumps on hitters due to Staumont’s extension to the plate, he struggles to execute it consistently, showing below-average control and command. The right-hander’s curveball can flash plus at its best, registering in the low 80s with downer action. It was his most effective pitch in the big leagues, inducing whiffs at a 43.2 percent clip.
A lack of fastball command is the only thing holding Staumont back at this point. He has the stuff to get big league hitters out, but only if he can limit his spurts of wildness.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40
Always blessed with tremendous arm strength, Staumont and his premium velocity stood out at Azusa Pacific in California and allowed him to go in the second round of the 2015 Draft. Pitching in a rotation for his first two full seasons, the right-hander missed bats and walked batters at a very high rate. That was still the case in 2018 with a move to the bullpen and while the command is still an issue, he pitched well enough to be called up to the big leagues for the first time in late July.
Staumont is now a full-time reliever with the kind of premium stuff to have success in the big leagues if he can find the strike zone a little more consistently. In shorter stints, his fastball can be a true 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, hitting triple digits. His curveball is well above average at times and he actually commands his breaking ball better than his heater. Staumont does have an upper-80s changeup that almost plays like a two-seamer, and will get weak contact at times, but he doesn't commit to it enough.
A lack of fastball command is the only thing holding Staumont back at this point. At the end of last year, he was mixing in his offspeed stuff earlier in counts to open the zone more, and it was better. If he can limit his spurts of wildness, he's ready to get big league hitters out.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
The highest pick in Azusa Pacific (Calif.) history, Staumont went in the second round in 2015 on the strength of a fastball that regularly reached triple digits. He has been both overpowering and wild as a pro, leading the Minors in strikeout rate (12.2 per nine innings) and walks (104) in his first full season in 2016 and posting similar numbers last year. He threw more strikes than ever toward the end of the 2016 season but his control and command regressed in 2017, prompting a demotion to Double-A in mid-July.
Staumont misses bats -- and too often, the strike zone -- with both his fastball and curveball. The four-seam version of his heater usually works from 93-99 mph when he starts and has climbed as high as 102 in short stints, and he can run his heavy two-seamer into the upper 90s. His low-80s curve can be an absolute hammer with power and depth.
There are no red flags with Staumont's delivery, yet he can't keep it together enough to throw strikes. The Royals moved him to the bullpen this year, though that hasn't helped him find the strikes zone with any more regularity. He also throws a changeup with splitter action, but he didn't use it enough as a starter and doesn't need it as a reliever.
Staumont had the hardest fastball in the 2015 Draft, regularly reaching triple digits with little effort, which made him the highest pick ever (second round) from Azusa Pacific (Calif.). He has overpowered hitters in his two pro seasons, leading Rookie-level Pioneer League relievers in strikeout rate (14.6 per nine innings) during his pro debut, then topped the entire Minors in strikeout rate (12.2) and ranked second in whiffs (167) as a starter in his first full pro season. He also paced the Minors with 104 walks in 2016, and tied for the Arizona Fall League lead with 16 in 24 innings.
Staumont's fastball is difficult to hit and difficult to control. He can maintain a 93-97 mph four-seam fastball and reach 99 as a starter, has been clocked as high as 102 as a reliever and has nice riding life. He also can run a two-seamer into the upper 90s with heavy sink but has even more trouble keeping that version in the strike zone.
His low-80s curveball has power and depth, giving Staumont a second pitch that misses bats and can be difficult to harness, and he also mixes in a changeup with splitter action. There's nothing glaring with his delivery, though he struggles to keep it in sync. He has the highest ceiling among Royals pitching prospects, but he'll have to attain average command and improve his mound presence to reach it.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
Staumont threw harder than any college pitcher in the 2015 Draft, routinely reaching triple digits with a relatively easy delivery. He rode his fastball into the second round, becoming the highest pick ever from Azusa Pacific (Calif.), an NCAA Division II school that has sent seven players to the big leagues, including Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Stephen Vogt. Staumont blew away hitters in his pro debut, leading Rookie-level Pioneer League relievers in strikeouts per nine innings (14.6) and opponent average (.168).
Staumont can maintain a mid-90s fastball into the late innings as starter, work in the upper 90s as a reliever and hit 102 mph with riding life. He also can run a two-seamer into the high 90s with heavy sink. He has ace-caliber stuff when he can locate his pitches, backing up his heat with a hard downer curveball and a changeup with splitter action.
The problem for Staumont is that he rarely locates his pitches because he has trouble keeping his mechanics in sync. He has below-average control and even worse command, which means he'll probably wind up as a reliever rather than a starter. If he can find the strike zone on a consistent basis, he could become a closer.
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
Staumont offered more fastball velocity than any college pitcher in the 2015 Draft, which helped him become the highest pick ever out of Azusa Pacific (Calif.). The NCAA Division II school that has produced seven big leaguers, including Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Stephen Vogt. A second-round choice, Staumont signed for $964,600.
Without expending much effort in his delivery, Staumont can sit at 93-97 mph as a starter and has reached triple digits while working as a reliever. He ultimately may end up in the latter role because the rest of his game pales in comparison to his fastball.
Staumont will flash a solid curveball and a decent changeup, though both pitches lack consistency. So does his ability to throw strikes and command his pitches. There are no glaring flaws in his delivery, yet he struggles to locate his offerings.