LHP Asa Lacy Selected by Royals as No. 4 Overall Pick in 2020 MLB Draft

Texas A&M's Asa Lacy (35) throws a strike against a Miami (Oh) batter during an NCAA baseball game on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Sam Craft/Associated Press

One of the best pitchers in the 2020 MLB draft is off the board after the Kansas City Royals selected Texas A&M pitcher Asa Lacy with the No. 4 overall pick.

Gabe Bock @GabeBock

Video: A&M lefty Asa Lacy reacts to hearing his name called at No. 4 overall to the Royals… https://t.co/chLCu2t0w2

Lacy has a strong case as the best player in the 2020 class, regardless of position. The left-handed starter racked up 178 strikeouts in 128 innings over his first two seasons with the Aggies.

The coronavirus pandemic ended Lacy’s junior season after just three starts, but he made it count with a 1.06 ERA, 33 strikeouts and nine hits allowed in 17 innings. The 21-year-old boasts electric stuff that backs up those numbers.

Per The Athletic’s Keith Law, Lacy “might have ended up at No. 1 overall” if he had been able to pitch all spring, and he made New Mexico State shortstop Nick Gonzales, a fellow first-round prospect, “look like a little kid” in a March 6 game.

Lacy is listed at 6’4″ and 215 pounds alongside his MLB.com scouting report, which read as follows:

Lacy has boosted his fastball from 87-91 mph in high school to 92-97 these days, using his 6-foot-4 frame to create downhill plane, and hitters just don’t seem to get good swings against it. He employs two distinct breaking balls, a downer curveball and a harder slider in the low 80s, with the slider surpassing his curve this spring and becoming a plus pitch. His changeup fades and sinks and grades as a well above-average pitch at its best, and it should become more consistently plus as he uses it more often.

That is the package every team dreams of from a potential No. 1 starter. Lacy does need to refine his control to reach that ceiling. He issued 27 walks in 70.1 innings over the past two seasons.

If Lacy is able to put it all together, he could pitch at the front of the Royals’ rotation for many years.

The Royals added to their strong stable of pitching prospects by selecting Lacy. Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar and Kris Bubic all have the ability to be, at worst, mid-rotation starters in the big leagues.

Lacy gives Kansas City another power arm from the left side as the team continues to stockpile assets for its next window of contention.

Even though the Royals are still in the early stages of their rebuilding effort, having so many top-level starting pitchers coming up through the minors could make them competitive sooner than expected in an American League Central in a state of flux.

Read More