The Kansas City Royals went into the 2019 MLB Draft looking to find some impact players for the future. While the draft is never a guarantee, they have to feel good about the players they were able to get. One of those players, third-round Oregon State pitcher Grant Gambrell, has the potential to be a huge piece of the future.
Gambrell, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, put together an excellent season in 2019 with Oregon State. According to D1Baseball.com, he compiled a 5-3 record in 13 appearances, recording a 2.83 ERA and 80 strikeouts to 25 walks. Those numbers show why Kansas City was so interested in him.
One of the biggest needs for the Royals’ organization has been finding good pitching prospects. Gambrell may not be super hyped up, but he should be.
Kansas City will now hope that Gambrell can develop quickly and reach the big leagues in a few years. There is no question that he has the work ethic and skill-set necessary to develop into a very good big-league arm.
Gambrell was willing to take the time to do an exclusive interview with Evan Massey and ClutchPoints.com. Many different topics were discussed in the interview and all Royals fans should view this as must-read material.
Good morning #BeaverNation
Grant Gambrell has been selected by the @Royals!#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/TE1nCS3RYq
— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 4, 2019
First up, Gambrell opened up about the MLB Draft process and what it was like for him to see his dreams realized.
“It was pretty interesting for me because I had an idea of where I would fit into the draft but I didn’t know exactly to who. So, when the Royals drafted me early in the third round I was extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
He also talked about how it feels to be a part of the Royals’ organization moving forward.
“I’m very excited to get to work with this great organization. I’m pretty familiar with the area considering the fact that I played in their spring training facility with Oregon State the past three years. It means a lot to me to see how my hard work has paid off. I was blessed to have the opportunity. It’s something that I have been training for my whole life so to see my dream come true was amazing.”
Some fans may not have had the opportunity to watch Gambrell pitch, but don’t worry, he was happy to break down what he brings to the mound.
“I would say I am a strong competitor with a physical build that is durable in the long run. I have a three-pitch mix including a fastball, change-up, and slider. I fill up the strike zone and love to win.”
Kansas City fans love winning too and have to love seeing that comment from Gambrell. Next up, Gambrell talked about some MLB comparisons and a player that he has tried to model his game after.
“Max Scherzer. I don’t think we have similar deliveries but I think that once my stuff becomes elite within the next couple years then we could have similar movements to pitches.”
Feeling Royal today @Royals… excited for the future!
— Grant Gambrell (@22Gambrell) June 4, 2019
Growing up, Gambrell was a Yankees fan and he talked a bit about that and when he realized he had the potential to play professional baseball.
“My dad was a Yankee fan when I was growing up so I was always watching their games. I love watching Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer throw. I don’t know when I realized to personally but when I was going into my eighth grade year I was playing at a showcase to show that I wanted to play college baseball and the owner of the showcase came up to me and my dad and said your son has a gift. He went on to explain that I was very talented and could one day play professional baseball.”
He has very simple goals for his first year with the Royals’ organization.
“Make the most out of my opportunities and continue to get better every day.”
If you’re a young player with dreams of playing professional baseball, Gambrell has some advice for you.
“I would tell them to look at my last Instagram post and read my caption. People will always tell you that you aren’t good enough and that you will never play professional baseball, but it’s up to you to determine how far you get in this game based off your work ethic. Never give up!”
Gambrell is a laid back guy when he’s not pitching and talked about some of the things he enjoys doing.
“I love to fish, trap, and skeet shoot, and golf. Those things are what make me who I am. I love listening to country music when I’m away from the game as well.”
Finally, he finished off the interview with a message to Kansas City fans.
“I just want the city of Kansas City to know that you’re getting a winner and that I will dedicate myself to getting another World Series for the city of Kansas City!”
The future is bright for Gambrell in Kansas City and the Royals have to be excited about their new prospect. It may be a few years before fans really start taking notice of him, but Gambrell is ready to make some noise and prove that he belongs.