Evan Kiser came to the Ontario Royals in the fall of 2015 as a 17-year-old, two-way player from Mono, ON. He showed promise in the field at 3B and power at the plate, but it became evident early on that his future as an elite ball player was on the mound.
Five years later, Kiser, who is eligible for the 2021 MLB Draft, is getting looks from MLB scouts who have been impressed by his size, strength, and measurables.
UPDATED: Feb. 28, 2021
In his years with the organization Evan developed athletically and physically as a hitter and especially as a pitcher.
"When Evan joined the Royals program, he jumped off the page physically," says Royals GM, Matt Mills. "He was initially really intent on being a two-way player, however it was obvious that he was meant to pitch — big legs, stoic demeanour, and a relentless work ethic combined with intelligence. As he moved through his second year with the Royals, you could really see him start to take off on the mound."
In 2017, his final 18U year with the Royals, Evan received an invite to the prestigious PBR Canada ProCase, an invitational showcase in front of MLB and college scouts for the top high school prospects in Ontario and Quebec.
After graduating from the Royals program, and being a four-year honour roll student at Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School, Evan earned a scholarship to Niagara University (NCAA D1) in upstate NY.
Evan was with the NCAA D1 Purple Eagles for two years before making the choice to come home to the University of Guelph to continue his academic and baseball career. That summer, before his first season with the Gryphons, he suited up for the Guelph Royals of the IBL posting a 2.11 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per 9 innings.
While studying accounting at Guelph, Evan quickly made his mark with the team.
“Evan is a relentless competitor on the mound,” says Guelph head coach Dean Mariani. “He is an elite combination of talent and skill with a continued determination to improve. His work ethic on the field and in the gym has helped set the tone for all players on our roster and has gone a long way in developing the culture of our program.”
It’s this combination of talent and dedication that has caught the eyes of several MLB scouts. During the 2019 OUA Tournament, several scouts made the trip to Ajax, ON to see Evan in action.
This past fall with the Gryphons, Evan posted a 1.35 ERA and 10.4 strikeouts per 9 innings.
For the summer of 2020, Evan was set to compete for the Thunder Bay BorderCats in the Northwoods League — generally regarded as the second-best college summer league in the US, after the Cape Cod League. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Kiser was released from the BorderCats prior to the season, as their franchise moved south of the border to accommodate the rest of the league and the ongoing pandemic.
Evan continues to improve and has done development work with current Royals Pitching Coordinator Fabio Del Rio and renowned mechanics guru Dr. Andrew Robb.
"It's been a pleasure getting a chance to know Evan," says Del Rio. "In addition to his exceptional 'stuff' and athleticism, I am extremely impressed with his work ethic, determination and eagerness to improve. He trusts himself but has an open mind to new ideas. That kind of attitude will truly benefit him at the next level."
Today, Evan is 21 years old and checks in at a muscular 6’3” 215 lbs. His fastball now sits between 93-95 MPH topping out at 96.4 (MLB average for RHPs is 93.2) with a spin rate over 2,200 RPM (MLB average is 2,263). He is not only strong but also athletic, as seen by his 6.84 second 60-yard dash time.
These measurables have impressed the MLB scouts who have seen Evan in multiple private workouts. Evan, who is eligible for the 2021 MLB Draft, threw for multiple MLB scouts recently.
Evan got in some memorable game action back in August 2020 with the IBL's Guelph Royals vs the London Majors for the Legacy Classic — a special exhibition game to continue the Guinness Book of Records streak of 144 seasons of baseball at Labatt Memorial Park (since 1877).
[Watch and listen as the commentators introduce Evan and discuss his prospects for the 2021 Draft]
No matter what the future holds for Evan Kiser, the Royals organization is extremely proud of the young man and the player he has become and wish him the best in his pursuit of being a pro pitcher.