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MLB Rookie Report: Brooks Pounders, RHP, Kansas City Royals

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Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals promoted right-hander Brooks Pounders to the major league roster this week. He made his MLB debut on July 5th, giving up one run on three hits and a walk in two innings of relief work against the Toronto Blue Jays, while fanning three.

Pounders was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round in 2009, from high school in Temecula, California. The Royals acquired him in a December 2011 trade for Yamaico Navarro. He missed almost all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery, but rebounded with a very good campaign in 2015 (2.50, 51/23 K/BB in 68 innings) pitching at four levels and finishing the season strongly in Double-A. This year he had a 2.80 ERA in 64 innings for Triple-A Omaha with a 78/28 K/BB, starting seven games while relieving in 12.

Born September 26th, 1990, Pounders is a big guy at 6-5, 265.  The right-hander features a fastball in the 90-94 range, generally averaging right at 92, mixing in a low-to-mid-80s slider and a mid-80s change-up. He also has a curve around 80 MPH that he'll deploy more frequently when he starts than when he relieves. His K/IP ratio has taken a notable tick upward since he returned from Tommy John and his ability to command all of his pitches has steadily improved.

Pounders doesn't get a huge amount of attention and doesn't have the athletic body desired by scouts, but he's been quite successful since returning from surgery. He could end up being a valued swingman for the Royals, able to start or relieve as needed. Don't overlook him.