In 2012, Staumont graduated from La Habra High School in California, having post an 8-2 record and 2.12 ERA striking out 87 in 69 innings.
Josh went to the Bible College of LA for his freshman year. And he was 6-6, 3.96 ERA and led the Golden State Athletic Conference in strikeouts with 109 as a true freshman.
Staumont transferred to Azusa Pacific, majoring in business administration and wants to pursue an environmental science degree following graduation.
June 2015: The Royals chose Staumont in the second round, out of Azusa Pacific Univ. in CA. He signed for $964,600, via scout Colin Gonzalez.
In 2016, Staumont's first full season as a pro, Josh led the minors with 104 walks, but he also ranked second in strikeouts (167) and first among full-season starters with 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
In the Arizona Fall League, he went 2-0, 1.57 with 53 strikeouts and 12 walks in his final 40 innings between the regular season and playoffs and was effective as a starter.
Josh enjoys fishing and hiking.
In 2016, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Staumont as the 15th-best prospect in the Royals organization. But they moved Josh up to the #1 prospect in the winter before 2017 spring training. He was at #4 in the spring of 2018, but fell to #24 in the spring of 2019, and to #25 in 2020.
Baseball players are creatures of routine. But Staumont is more obsessive than most. Every night before 7:00 p.m., he lays out his clothes for the next day. He organizes his locker in military-grade fashion, each piece of equipment lined up perfectly. His teammates rib him about his neat-freak ways and time spent on his hair.
“I’m a planner,” Staumont says, smiling.
Josh means this in a general way. He plans out his daily pitching routines. He studies other players. He spent time entranced by the way reliever Kelvin Herrera separated his hands early in his pitching delivery. It was something so simple, Staumont says, but it made sense.
“You just have to hone down, almost do a checklist of what they do,” Staumont said, “to see if something kind of clicks.”
It’s the spring of 2015. Division II Azusa Pacific is playing a midweek game against the University of San Diego, a rising program in Division I. The game is a blowout. Azusa Pacific is getting drilled.
So APU head coach Paul Svagdis inserts Staumont into the game to get some work. He has rarely pitched in relief. His adrenalin is pumping. He maxes out in one inning. He hits 102 mph twice. Teammates look on in awe. The San Diego batters keep spraying line drives into the first-base dugout. Pretty soon, the entire dugout has gloves on.
- Josh and his wife, Angelina, spend the off-season in La Habra Heights, California.
|Birth City:||La Habra, CA|
|Draft:||Royals #2 - 2015 - Out of Azusa Pacific Univ. (CA)|
Staumont has an 96-104 mph 4-seam FASTBALL that explodes with a high spin rate that grades a 70 and would be an 80 on the scout scale, except that it lacks life/movement. And amazingly, Josh also has a 92-97 mph 2-seam SINKER, but it is harder for Josh to control, so he's concentrating on controlling the 4-seamer. He also has a high-spinning, 82-84 mph 11-to-5 power CURVEBALL, which is a current 60 grade and flashing up to 70.
He has an occasionally decent "40" CHANGEUP he worked on in 2016 spring training. His curve is a 70 grade when he stays on top of it, giving it a diving finish that is unhittable . . . but it isn't consistent.
Staumont has the kind of premium stuff teams covet in a big league reliever. His fastball topped out at triple digits with the Royals last season. While the pitch has late life and jumps on hitters due to Staumont’s extension to the plate, he struggles to execute it consistently, showing below-average control and command. The right-hander’s curveball can flash plus at its best, registering in the low 80s with downer action. It was his most effective pitch in the big leagues, inducing whiffs at a 43.2 percent clip.
A lack of fastball command is the only thing holding Staumont back at this point. He has the stuff to get big league hitters out, but only if he can limit his spurts of wildness. (Spring 2020)
Josh is hard to hit when he throws strikes, and therein lies his problem. He walked 6.49 batters with Omaha in 2019 and about the same rate as the previous year. Because he doesn't get his fastball in the strike zone enough, opposing batters don't often find themselves in unfavorable counts. (Spring 2020)
Staumont long struggled to improve his command and control. He continues to frustrate, with his electric stuff playing down because of his lack of control, with his walk rate at 7 per nine innings in 2019. Josh could be a high-leverage reliever using just his four-seam fastball and curveball, if his control improves.
In 2019, his textbook mechanics have helped Staumont harness his control. (August 2019)
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 69.6% of the time and his Curveball 30.4% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.2 mph and Curve 81.8 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 69.2% of the time; Sinker 3.6%; and his Curveball 27.1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 98.2 mph, Sinker 99.3, and Curve 82.4 mph.
He is now pitching with a better understanding of how to set hitters up and other intricacies of the craft.
However inconsistent control and command put a real crimp on his advancement. Josh struck out 10 batters per nine innings, but also walked seven per nine, He will have to find a more consistent release point because he is truly dominating when he repeats his delivery and commands his pitches. (Spring, 2018)
Josh is a big, strong righthander with an amazingly clean and easy delivery with very little effort. It looks like he's playing catch out in the backyard . . . but he's throwing over 100 mph.
It is a clean arm action and he is working on a consistent arm slot. He hangs over his rear leg in his windup, so he loses his timing and rhythm. He can miss the zone by feet sometimes! So the grade on his control is a 40, below average.
The lack of command and control are going to have to improve a whole lot. He has a lot of work to do. In 2016, his control improved as the season progressed in part because of a mechanical tweak. He now brings his hands above his head in his windup instead of the simple hand break he used earlier. It improved his timing.
Staumont is focused on using his legs in his delivery more instead of the “tall and fall” delivery he used in college. He is somewhat stiff, which limits his below-average control and command and his ability to diagnose and correct delivery issues quickly as they crop up
His control and command are so bad, Josh had to go to the bullpen after signing with the Royals. In 2015, in the Pioneer League, Staumont strike out 14.6 batters per 9 innings, but walked just short of 7 per 9 innings.
But he was moved back to the starting rotation during his 2nd pro season because his stuff is potentially too good to not give him every chance as a starter. One scout mentioned a somewhat similar career path as D-backs starter Robbie Ray, who also struggled with command early on before finally putting it together in 2017. There’s certainly no guarantee that Staumont will take the same steps forward as Ray, but give it time.
2017 season: Staumont combined 5.56 ERA with 138/97 K/BB in 125 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Top rookie Statcast performers of 2020. Maximum fastball velocity: Josh Staumont, Royals—102.2 mph.
Staumont matched Jacob deGrom for the top velocity (102.2 mph) and recorded six of the 10 hardest-thrown pitches during the regular season, including five of the top six. Graterol and Padres reliever Javy Guerra both topped out at 101.7 mph, while Crochet and Blue Jays flamethrower Nate Pearson ran their heaters up to 101.5 mph. Dustin May (101.2 mph) and Tapia (101.0) round out the group of rookie hurlers who hit at least 101 mph during the regular season.
And in 2020, opposing hitters managed just .172 with 18 strikeouts in at-bats ending with a curveball.
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Josh has a career record of 2-1 with 3.00 ERA, having allowed 6 home runs and 41 hits in 45 innings.
- Josh needs work on holding runners. He was very easy to steal bases on in 2016. (2017)
March 15, 2021: Staumont was working his way back to full strength after a COVID-19 infection hit him pretty hard.
Staumont was delayed getting into camp, previously for an undisclosed reason, and has been regaining his strength and energy the past few weeks. In his first Cactus League outing, he delivered a perfect ninth inning in the Royals’ win over the Dodgers. But it’s been a long process to get back on the mound, and that process is still ongoing. He said he lost a significant amount of weight when he fell ill, had fevers as high as 103 degrees and was sleeping up to 20 hours a day.
“It was not a light case,” Staumont said. “I lost a ton of weight, lot of muscle, things like that. We’re working back into it. Realistically, my health right now is completely normal. But if we’re comparing it to the other incredible athletes on this field, it’s just not where it needs to be at this moment. But we got two, three weeks left. I am extremely encouraged as to what we’ve gotten back so far, so with a little bit more time and effort, we can gain back that energy. “But at the end of the day, we fall asleep pretty easy.”
April 13-14, 2021: Josh was on the IL.
May 27-June 6, 2021: Josh was on the Il with a left knee sprain.
May 29, 2021: Manager Mike Matheny said that Staumont’s knee injury came up after he pitched a scoreless eighth inning against the Rays, and he was stretching back in his hotel room. He felt something off, Matheny said. And by the time he came to the field the next morning, he could pinpoint the pain.
The skipper said the sprain could have come from Staumont trying to generate more velocity, when he was averaging 93-95 mph instead of his typical 98-100 mph. Staumont has dealt with a tired arm to start this season, in part because of his increased workload.