Jackson Kowar, RHP, KC

Kowar has a nice 2019, and now just needs one thing to improve to reach his potential.

Video courtesy of Alec Dopp
  • Born: October 4, 1996
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’5″, 180-lbs
  • Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1st round of the 2018 June Amateur Draft from University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

2019 showed real improvement for Kowar. His first full professional season saw him split his time almost exactly in half between A+ and AA. In fact, let’s break his year down that way:

74 innings in both leagues, 310 or so batters faced in each, and the walk rate was the same (though nicely improved from 2018), and his strikeout rate jumped from 21% to 25%. Nice. It’s a solid year from Kowar.

Not seeing much of a split here, other than more walks against lefties.

Not seeing much of a split here either. Looks very balanced.

He improved in April and May at A+, then faded a bit, got promoted to AA and after a bit of an adjustment was off to the races before a late season settling, but settling at a level that was mostly ahead of his 2018 mark. He improved.

Everyone raves about Kowar’s changeup. He throws it with deception and he gets a lot of his Ks with it. His fastball is his second-best pitch, but it only goes to the mid-90s, though it has arm-side life, and now that his command is improving, it too is a good weapon.

The key for Kowar is the development of his curve. It’s now an average pitch, which is better than it was in college. To the extent that he can give it good shape and spin, to that extent Kowar can reach his ceiling as a solid #3 starter in the majors.

The Scouts

Warnings

He needs that curve to continue to improve.

Better command of his pitches will only help him succeed.

Conclusion

He’s a tall, lanky guy with room to grow on his frame. Although we haven’t seen real dominance in his strikeout rate or his WHIP, we have seen a durable hurler who takes the ball, keeps it on the group, and doesn’t walk guys excessively. If his strikeout improvement continues, and he improves his command, he should have a nice major league career.

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