Top pitching prospect Daniel Lynch took the mound for his first career start as a Royal Monday evening against the Cleveland Indians. Lynch, A 6-foot-6 left-hander drafted 34th overall in 2018, was in Omaha, Nebraska, preparing to begin the minor-league season at Triple-A. As one of the top prospects, Baseball America ranked him the seventh-best pitching prospect in the minors and 21st-best prospect regardless of position. MLBPipeline.com ranked him No. 24 overall and second-best left-handed pitching prospect.
After finding out the news, Lynch packed up his things and made the drive to Kansas City on Sunday. Any baseball fan can imagine the number of jitters and butterflies that come with a guy’s first MLB start and of course, they were evident for Lynch.
Lynch tossed 4.2 innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs, four walks, and three strikeouts. While these numbers are nothing spectacular, considering he now has a 5.79 ERA, Lynch showed that he has extreme potential for this Royals rotation in the future. From the first pitch, the Indians were eager to face the rookie as the first MLB pitch he threw was blasted to center field, but luckily, Jarrod Dyson saved the day with a spectacular catch. After that, Lynch gained control for the most part, minus the walks and later on the earned runs.
As far as an opinionated reaction goes for a rookie’s first start, Lynch had a decent night on the mound; I think anyone expected Lynch to give up runs. The jump in competition from AAA to the MLB is still quite large, which is why Lynch giving up runs was nothing unexpected. However, it is important to point out that Lynch still managed a lot of ground balls and flyouts, which last time I checked, still count as outs.
Going forward, Lynch just needs to continue to gain control of his pitching arsenal and continue to hit his spots; and, things will pan out for him. While that is easier said than done, that is all that can be given out for advice. The only thing is just for him to continue to get better overall. Lynch can look forward to a long and prosperous career on the mound.
Lynch earned his opportunity after a few roster moves and bullpen shifts that allowed for his start to be possible and looking forward, this will definitely not be the last time we see Lynch in the MLB this season.
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Stats from espn.com, Baseball America, MLBPipeline.com and mlb.com