#32 Buddy Baumann
Acquired: Drafted in 7th Round of 2009 Amateur Draft
From: Billings, MO
One year ago, I ranked Buddy Baumann as the 33rd prospect on the Royal Revival top prospect countdown. Today, Baumann moves up one spot to the 32nd position on the list. Under the Dayton Moore regime the Royals have made a concentrated effort to outwork their competition in their backyard. For years that Braves executed this strategy as well as any team in baseball, but it is natural to wonder if a large part of that success was attributable to the talent that Georgia produces.
It is yet to be determined if the Royals will find success in their strategy, but prospects like Buddy Baumann and Jason Adam could represent success somewhere down the line if they develop as the Royals hope. In Baumann the Royals have found an arm that consistently sits in the low 90s while displaying an average slider and change up.
Throughout his time in the Royals system Baumann has racked up some fantastic strikeout numbers. Even while stumbling a bit in the Texas League and watching his ERA rise over 4, Baumann continued to rack up the Ks. Despite posting the lowest K-rate of his career, Baumann's 8.6 mark still was above the Texas League average of 7.3.
Entering last season I hoped to see Baumann's development to continue as a member of the rotation. However, given the glut of pitching prospects the Royals have and Baumann's stuff I think it's time to shift him to the pen and see if he can find a comfort zone that allows him a tick up in velocity, much like Everett Teaford was able to accomplish in 2010. I like Baumann as a relief prospect and I like him even more as a left handed relief prospect. Look for him to return to Northwest Arkansas to begin the 2012 season.
Picture credit: Arkansasonline.com