By: Mike Puzzanghera – Intern
Through the early stages of the 2022 season, the Kansas City Royals have relied on two Y-D alums to play key roles in their bullpen. Both Josh Staumont (‘14) and Collin Snider (‘16) are making an impact in the major leagues as relievers in Kansas City.
Staumont, a second-round pick from the Royals in 2015, has been a key piece of the Kansas City bullpen for the last three seasons. In the shortened 2020 season, Staumont pitched in 26 games with a 2.45 ERA. He made an early impression in the big leagues with his triple-digits fastball, topping out at 102 miles per hour in 2020. But his curveball is his bread and butter, helping Staumont pick up strikeouts. Staumont’s curve is above league average in MPH and rotations per minute, giving it exceptional speed and movement.
The Royals used Staumont in 64 games last season — mainly in the 8th inning as a setup man — but also to help clean up messes made by other pitchers. Staumont allowed just 25% of inherited runners to score in 2021, helping the Royals out of jams with strong efficiency. He also picked up his first five career saves in 2021, being used as a closer on occasion. He ended the year with a 2.88 ERA and 72 strikeouts.
This season, Staumont has continued to prove that he’s a strong late-game option for the Royals. Through a month and a half of 2022, Staumont has earned two saves as the Royals have used a closer-by-committee approach. He’s struck out 17 batters through 11 innings so far, and has a career-high 2.80 strikeouts per walk.
Staumont pitched for YD in the summer of 2014, making five starts and eight total appearances for the Red Sox. He struck out 19 batters in 21 innings with a 3.85 ERA.
Collin Snider, in his first big league season, made his MLB debut on April 9 this year, pitching a scoreless top of the 10th inning before the Royals walked off in the bottom half, giving Snider the win in his debut.
Snider, a 12th-round pick in 2017, worked his way onto the Royals roster after an exceptional spring training where he gave up just one run in six and two-thirds innings. Snider uses just two pitches – a sinker and a slider – but does so to great effect. His sinker averages over 95 MPH, and his slider has strong motion to it, making it particularly devastating to right-handed hitters.
The Nashville, TN native spent parts of last season with Kansas City’s AA and AAA affiliates. He excelled with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in AA with a 2.97 ERA in 27 games before earning a call-up to Omaha in AAA.
Through 14 appearances this season, Snider has primarily been used as a middle reliever (all but one appearance has come in the fifth, sixth, or seventh inning). The Royals are trusting Snider in close games: every game he’s appeared in through a month and a half has been within three runs.
Snider spent the 2016 summer with YD alongside Vanderbilt teammate Will Toffey (15-16’). Snider was fourth on the team with 12 appearances, striking out 15 batters in 22⅓ innings while earning a perfect 3-0 record on the mound.
Staumont and Snider are joined in Kansas City by fellow YD alums Whit Merrifield (‘08), Kris Bubic (‘17), and Kyle Isbel (‘17).