Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Spring Stats: 8.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, .138 BAA, 6/2 K/BB (4 G)
After two shaky appearances to begin spring training, Ventura, 21, has been unhittable in two starts this month. Seriously; like, no hits. The youngest player in Royals’ camp, the right-hander has showcased a lightning-quick arm that unleashes plus-plus fastballs on opposing hitters.
He still has a ways to go in terms of his developing a breaking ball and improving his overall command, but there’s certainly a lot to like in Ventura.
Here are a few choice quotes from players and managers from around the league who witnessed his latest start (via Dick Kaegel of MLB.com):
"The umpire, Ron Kulpa, came over in the second inning and he said, 'Who is this kid? And, wow!'" (Ned) Yost said. "He goes, 'This kid is some kind of nasty.' And I said, 'Yeah, he's pretty good.'"
"We call him 'Ace' for a reason because he's got unbelievable stuff," second baseman Johnny Giavotella said. "You could just see the velocity explode out of his hand. It's just a pleasure to be out there on the same field with somebody that has that kind of talent."
"He's got an electric fastball, upper 90s," said first baseman Billy Butler. "I see a guy that commands the ball well, I see a guy that's not far away from the big leagues. I see a guy that can contribute this year for us, if we need him."
"We faced the best arm we've seen this spring," (Bruce) Bochy said.