For Kris Bubic, Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Kris Bubic really does not consider himself to be a strikeout pitcher, but the 22-year-old lefthander led the minors with 185 strikeouts last year in 149.1 innings
Drafted out of Stanford in the supplemental first round in 2018, Bubic began the 2019 season at low Class A Lexington and finished it with 17 starts at high Class A Wilmington.
Overall he went 11-5, 2.23 with a 0.97 WHIP in 26 starts.
"It was a great year, and everything came together for me,” Bubic said. "All three pitches were working for most of the year, and I took it to that next level.”
The 22-year-old Bubic views himself as a pitcher who can do a bit of everything rather than a strikeout artist.
"I can throw whatever pitch in whatever count," Bubic said. "I can add and subtract. I can pitch to both sides of the plate . . . I feel like my strengths are pitching a variety of different ways.”
Bubic throws a four-seam fastball, a changeup and curveball. He works comfortably in the 90-93 mph range and can touch the mid-90s.
"I know I’ve got some deception in my delivery,” Bubic said. "The ball gets on hitters a little bit.
"I know I’m not going to blow the radar gun away, but I know I’ve got a little bit of life on my fastball. Deception and having the ability to throw offspeed pitches for strikes allows that pitch to elevate as well.
"I think just having three quality pitches will allow me to throw all three and pitch off of them equally.”
Bubic threw back-to-back complete games in August, the first of his career, including college. He took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on Aug. 15 against Lynchburg before giving up a leadoff single.
Bubic and 2018 first-round college draftees Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch were all non-roster invitees to Royals big league camp. All four could be in Kansas City before the season ends.
"We’re kind of taking this journey together,” Bubic says. "The great thing about us is we all pitch differently . . . It’s a blessing to be here.”
— Darryl Kennedy, who managed the past 12 years in the Royals’ minor league system, including Double-A Northwest Arkansas last year, did not have his contract renewed.
— Keoni DeRenne joins the Royals as the assistant hitting coordinator after spending last season as the Triple-A Iowa Cubs' hitting coach. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as a hitting coach in the Pirates’ organization.