Royals Top 30 - #24 - Chris Dwyer

When Chris Dwyer was selected out of Clemson in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, he was an athlete. In high school, he excelled at baseball, basketball, and football. He was even named Boston Globe's Player of the Year in football. Though his numbers in his one year at Clemson weren't spectacular, the Royals felt they could gamble on such a good athlete.

Fast forward four years, and Chris Dwyer is trying to return to high prospect status.

The Past

Chris Dwyer made a few token appearances after signing in 2009, but his minor league career began in earnest in 2010 when he split time between Wilmington and NW Arkansas. In short, he was excellent. He struck more than a batter per inning and maintained a respectable 2.63 SO/BB ratio. With a 3.00 ERA and a decent WHIP of 1.30, the Royals felt that they may have struck gold.

In 2011, things started to fall apart for Dwyer. While pitching exclusively in NW Arkansas, Dwyer saw his walk rate and ERA balloon while is K/9 rate slipped from 9.7 to 8.0. He still allowed fewer hits than innings pitched which kept his WHIP at a not-horrible 1.43. His peripheral numbers indicate that he may have been a little unlucky with an ERA of 5.60.

Dwyer and the Royals hoped that he could turn things around in 2012 with another crack at AA batters. Over the first two-thirds of the season, his numbers at NW Arkansas were very similar to his 2011 numbers. Then the Royals inexplicably promoted him to AAA Omaha. He started nine games for Omaha and got hammered. AAA hitters feasted on Dwyer, hitting .349 with 10 HRs in 50.1 innings. Many Royals fans had given up hope on Dwyer. He would simply be another Royals failed pitching prospect.

The Present

The expectations weren't especially high for Chris Dwyer when he started off the year in Omaha, but he seems to have found something. Although it's early, he has proven to be very successful. In his first 6 starts, he has an ERA of just 2.13 and a WHIP of 1.11, and batters are only hitting .206 against him.

The Future

In order for Chris Dwyer to maintain his success, he has to be stingy with the walks and home runs. Armed with a decent fastball and a good/great curveball, many wonder if Dwyer would be better suited for the bullpen. His numbers against left-handed batters aren't significantly better than his numbers against right-handed batters, so he probably won't be looked at as a situational lefty. Though he profiles out as a back-of-the rotation starter, the Royals might choose to experiment with him in the bullpen. Either way, he's going to have pitch pretty well to crack the Royals rotation or bullpen. If he maintains his strong numbers in AAA, the Royals might explore including him in a trade for an upgrade at 2B or RF.

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