American League Central Top 20 under 26: No. 15-No. 11
No. 15: Brady Singer, SP, Kansas City Royals
2020 Stats: 6 G, 6 GS, 29.2 IP, 1-3, 5.16 ERA, 27-12 K-BB, 0.3 WAR
To say that the debut six games for Brady Singer have been a roller coaster could not be more accurate. Singer has had three games where he’s pitched fifteen innings, given up six runs, and struck out fourteen. Those were the good games.
The bad three games saw Singer go 14.2 innings, give up 11 runs, and strike out 13. He’s a rookie, so he’ll take his lumps, but Singer has some pretty great stuff. He has the potential to become an ace for the Royals, he just needs to find it.
No. 14: James Karinchak, RP, Cleveland Indians
2020 Stats: 13 G, 14.2 IP, 0-1, 0.61 ERA, 1 SV, 28-6 K-BB, 0.7 WAR
Career Stats: 18 G, 20.0 IP, 0-1, 0.90 ERA, 1 SV, 36-7 K-BB, 0.9 WAR
James Karinchak is the highest related reliever on our list, and with good reason. At just 24 years old, Karinchak has massive potential. He has some of the best stuff of any reliever in the entire Cleveland system, and they believer he’ll be their closer at some point.
Karinchak reminds me in a lot of ways of Alcala, as both pitchers have electric stuff and improving command. The only reason Karinchak tops Alcala is that he’s way closer to reaching his enormous potential. But I’d expect these two to be dueling in the ninth inning in a couple years.
No. 13: Triston McKenzie, SP, Cleveland Indians
2020 Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 10-1 K-BB, 0.2 WAR
I can’t imagine a better MLB debut than the one Triston McKenzie had to open his MLB career. McKenzie absolutely obliterated the Tigers and earned a second start. Striking out ten guys and allowing just one run on a homer? McKenzie has been a top prospect for a while, and now he’s ready to make good.
No. 12: Casey Mize, SP, Detroit Tigers
2020 Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 6.23 ERA (2.93 FIP), 7-1 K-BB, 0.0 WAR
The Casey Mize debut wasn’t quite as good as McKenzie’s, but striking out 7 over 4.1 innings is a pretty good start by itself. Mize did give up 3 runs, but his FIP suggests he had a much better game than expected. This former No. 1 overall pick has a very bright future.
No. 11: Zach Plesac, SP, Cleveland Indians
2020 Stats: 3 G, 3 GS, 21 IP, 1-1, 1.29 ERA, 24-2 K-BB, 1.2 WAR
Career Stats: 24 G, 24 GS, 136.2 IP, 9-7, 3.42 ERA, 112-42 K-BB, 2.9 WAR
We’ve officially left the list of guys with things to prove and are now entering the section of players just below star level. Zach Plesac makes that list, because when you look at his stat line, it screams very good pitcher.
He doesn’t have elite stuff, but he’s great with what he has, allowing him to control the strike zone and make hitters miss. That 112-42 career K-BB line is incredible, and his 10.3 K/9 number shows he’s only getting better. If he can avoid doing dumb things, he has the potential to be another star Cleveland pitcher.