First, they were the weekend starters at McKethan Stadium. Then, they were both taken in the first round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft. Now, they reunite in Kansas City. The Royals announced they are calling up righty pitching prospect Jackson Kowar. His debut will be a start against the Angels out west on Monday. Kowar joins fellow Gators alum Brady Singer on the royals pitching staff.
Kowar is the Royals fourth-ranked prospect and the third ranked pitcher.
Road to the Show
The Detroit Tiger drafted the North Carolina native in the 40th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He chose to commit to the University of Florida instead.
During his time at Florida, Kowar made 49 appearances, including 42 starts. Kowar went 25-6 with a 3.53 ERA. In 255 innings pitched, he racked up 243 strikeouts.
The highlight of Kowar’s career came in 2017 when he came into the late innings of game two of the College World Series championship series. He tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to seal the deal on Gators baseball’s first-ever national championship.
After a strong 2018 season, where he earned All-SEC second team, the Royals selected the right-handed pitcher 34th overall in the MLB draft. He was compensatory pick for the Brewers signing away centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. He reached Double-A ball in his first season in the minor and participated in the Royals’ summer camp during the COVID-19-impacted 2020 season. As a reminder, there was no minor-league season.
In 2021, the former Gator returned to Omaha. This time as a member of the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers. He made it look a tad too easy. In six starts, Jackson Kowar went 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. The Royals could tell he was ready for the next challenge. How does a lineup with Shohei Ohtani in it sound? Mike Trout is out, so that matchup will have to wait.