The Royals have signed right-hander Mike Shawaryn to a minor league contract, per a team announcement. He’ll presumably head to Triple-A once their season begins next week.
Shawaryn, 26, ranked among the top prospects in the Red Sox’ system from 2017-19 but was hit hard when he finally cracked the big leagues in ’19. Through 20 1/3 frames, he was tagged for 22 runs on the strength of 26 hits (five homers), 13 walks and five hit batsmen. Shawaryn did strike out 29 of the 103 batters he faced (28.2 percent), but the control problems and susceptibility to home runs were an obvious concern.
Shawaryn didn’t pitch in the big leagues last season, but he spent most of the year as part of the Red Sox’ 60-man player pool at their alternate training site. Boston designated Shawaryn for assignment in late August, however, and removed him from the player pool after outrighting him. He was cut loose by the Sox over the weekend, per his transaction log at MLB.com.
Prior to that rough big league debut, Shawaryn had a mostly solid track record in the minors. He’d pitched to a mid-3.00s ERA at Class-A, Class-A Advanced and Double-A, and while he was hit harder in Triple-A, the results were still respectable, particularly given the offensive explosion at that level in ’19. All in all, he has a 3.79 ERA, a 24.5 percent strikeout rate and an 8.7 percent walk rate in 389 1/3 minor league innings. In their 2019 scouting report, Baseball America called Shawaryn a “physical strike-thrower” who could become a “solid medium-leverage reliever” or a back-of-the-rotation starter depending on the development of his changeup.