The Royal Danny Duffy veteran recognizes the signs, the hum inside the organization, about what the future might hold. He paid enough attention to learn about the impact of what could hit Kansas City in the coming seasons.
Duffy, the left-handed pitcher selected in the third round of the baseball draft in 2007, looks at the young talent in the club's agricultural system – evidenced by last season's draft draft – and has the feeling that a sequel is coming films in which they once he played a key role.
This time, the Royals have cataloged a trio of potential men in charge in the first round of the June draft: Brady Singer, Florida, 6 feet 5 to the right; 6-4 Virginia left-handed Daniel Lynch; and Singer's former college teammate and Jackson Kowar's 6-6 southpaw.
"Those guys, in my opinion, if they stay on the track where they are, they will shoot through the minor leagues like we did," said Duffy. "I think it's a good model to follow, to keep them all together.
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"So they can experience all things at the same level at the same time. There is a lot to do. It's a lot there with that. Like I said, I think they look a lot like us, the quote without blue wave quotes."
The first time, homemade talents like Duffy were the foundation for back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015, including the first Royals championship in three decades when they surpassed the hump in 2015.
"I saw the 2015 World Series, and the interesting thing is that they said it was a central group of kids introduced to the system at a young age," Singer said. "In the end, they were (built) in a World Series championship.
"I think that's what we're hoping for with the young boys who were in Lexington last year and those who are part of our minor league organization and this draft is coming. I think it will all end in one, and our goal final is the World Series. "
Along with that trio of early-rounders, the Royals also selected two other launchers in the first 58 selections of last year's draft: Stanford left-handed Kris Bubic (40th) and Memphis right-handed Jonathan Bowlan (58th).
There is a belief among some within the walls of the Royal structure that their minor league system could have even more potential serious launchers than when they boasted the best baseball breeding system in 2011 .
"I hope those guys over there know that we're really excited about where they are and what they bring to the table," said Duffy. "We can only hope that we too will be a part of it, which drives us to work harder, to remain in the shoes of this success".
Duffy's day-to-day comrades while touring the minors were a group of group launchers that included John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Everrett Teaford and Chris Dwyer. This group "grew up together".
The biggest thing that pitchers have learned from each other?
How to manage yourself on a daily basis, according to Duffy. Everyone held each other accountable for everything from their weight lifting programs to being punctual for the buses and how accurately they kept their launch tables from the games.
"If someone took a step to the right or left of the line we were trying to walk, we were able to bring back one another," said Duffy.
The Singer-Lynch-Kowar cohort has already proven to be in such a step.
They lived together in Arizona during spring training, a natural choice considering that Singer and Kowar were college roommates and Lynch and Kowar became fast friends last year as they launched for Low-A Lexington. All three are 22 years old entering this season.
During spring training, they launched the same day and did exercises together in the minor league field. Lynch, from Henrico, Va. And Singer, a product of Eustis, Florida, went out together on the field every day and began the weighted ball warm-up routine.
They also planted the seeds for the kind of peer pressure Duffy described. Lynch admits every time he sees one of the others doing something he didn't do, he catches her eye.
"C & # 39; s definitely looking to see something more, and it motivates me not to sit on my phone," Lynch said. "He is doing something in the training room to improve what I have never done, so I can ask him what he is doing to improve it."
Kowar, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, says Singer and Lynch have made it more efficient.
"They don't waste their time at the ballpark," Kowar said. "They have a plan from the moment they enter until the moment they leave."
Connected by the competition
Kowar, selected 33rd overall, left Florida with the third winning percentage in the history of the program (.806). His 2017 season ranks among the best of any collegiate pitcher: he went 12-1 as a sophomore and tied for the best record ever in Florida in one season.
His 12 victories are in second place in the country.
"When you're surrounded by very motivated and competitive and really talented people, it just makes you better," Kowar said. "It's not just us, it's much deeper than that. I think we really liked this aspect – it gets to the kind of going out there and competing with one another."
While Singer, the 18th general grader, has yet to launch a professional pitch in a regular season game, it is clear that it does not take long to ignite his competitive fire.
"If we are practicing in the field, it is" who can deploy the most ground balls, who cannot throw them away, who can do this and that, "said Singer." Here's how we are. This is how we were born, as competitors. This is what makes us really good at baseball. "
Singer, perhaps the most respected pitcher in the Florida program, won the national award and best pitcher of the year, as well as the Dick Howser Trophy as a junior collegiate last year.
A year after leading his team in a World Series College title in 2017, Singer released a 12-3 record and a SEC better than 2.55 ERA, ranking third in the average batting conference against (.194 ) and ranked 18th national in WHIP (0.94 WHIP) in 2018. He also beat 114 batters and achieved 22.
The singer enters her first season of professional baseball with the belief that constant competition is the only way to become the best.
"It's always the unknown competition between every player," Singer said. "Ultimately, because you are a good team, everyone is competing to beat each other. When you start battling each other means you are improving, they are improving. It is an unknown competition, but it is never anything that can separate anyone in the team . "
Developing one another
The singer, considered the best perspective in the Royals' agricultural system and one of the best prospects in all of baseball, acknowledged that all three pitchers have aspects of their game in which they are ahead of the others.
The envy of Singer and Lynch envies Kowar's change, a step he attributes to his father Frank (a former collector and minor-series pitcher). Singer launched a large volume of changes against live hitters in the field to get an idea of the field.
Kowar and Lynch, meanwhile, wish Singer's ability to manipulate his fast ball for exceptional movement. Lynch, the group's only left, saw a speed increase in his fast ball in the last year. Now it reaches the early years & # 39; 90.
Since none of them is a finished product, internal competition is less important than the common aspect.
"I think a lot more is being done about routine and habits and ideas, just little things like that, little things you can take one from another," Kowar said. "I don't think it's my interpretation of your performance. I think it's more like," What can I learn from you. What do you do well? What do I need to work on? "
Since Kowar and Singer have known each other for years and shared experiences from college, a player like Lynch, with a different background and coaching, only adds to the dynamics.
"It's definitely an aspect in bouncing things away from each other. I would say (it is) more than competition," Lynch said. "If Brady did something I saw, I'd say," Hey, what did you do there? I'd like to bounce ideas off of him because I know he really knows the game well. You know, what they did in Florida for having learned that I never learned? "
Lynch would seem to be a fast study based on the beginning of his professional career. In 12 starts last season between Rookie ball (three starts) and Low-A Lexington (nine starts), went 5-1 with an ERA 1.58, 1.01 WHIP and 61 strikeouts against only eight walks in 51 1 / 3 innings.
By virtue of their living arrangements during spring training, the triumvirate kept their collective throwing juices in both the Royal and at home facility.
And yes, baseball is often the topic of discussion when they settle down and put their feet up high.
"Some people think we're leaving the camp and we don't sit on the couch and talk about baseball, but we do it honestly," Singer said. "We talk a lot about baseball."
Lynch has heard people say that when they go home they want to play video games or participate in other activities to take their mind off the game. He simply can't relate, or he tells the kids to skip the baseball discussion.
"I didn't feel the need to escape," Lynch said. "I think we all love it. I think you have to. It's constant for me. Even if I come home and I'm not thinking about baseball, I go to Twitter and it's a video of someone launching. The gears are always running, and maybe that lights up a conversation about something. "
The way of the royals
Having a group of young talented prospects play together, learning from each other and coming together through the system is a formula that the Royal front office used under general manager Dayton Moore to build the 2014 and 2015 World Series series .
"I only remember the story. It was always that great story of (Eric) Hosmer, (Mike) Moustakas, all those guys who were home-grown Kansas City players who brought them a championship," said Lynch . "I always thought it was really cool the way they didn't exchange for those guys, they developed those guys in their system."
Duffy remembers the assistant director general J.J. Picollo and Scott Sharp – and of course Moore – regularly jump out at the games and watch closely while that previous group made its way.
"Iron sharpens iron, that's what I believe," Moore said. "So, to have kids who have the same mentality, they hold themselves accountable, push one another, stimulate themselves, start formulating what a team should be."
Moore believes that this is how the Royals must build – by necessity, yes, and also for the culture that forms and perpetuates.
He will not hesitate to tell you that he and his staff are working on a vision similar to the one they did previously, relying mainly on their scouting department, development system and home-grown players to build a winner.
"Some organizations simply don't engage in this or can't engage in this," Moore said. "We have to do it a certain way, but I'd rather do it this way than any other way."