Jakob Benjamin Lee Junis resides in Phoenix, Ariz., with his wife, Brianne, daughter, Nelly and son, Jones ... Graduated from Rock Falls (Ill.) High School, where he earned all-state honors in baseball and basketball as a senior…posted a 1.10 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 51.0 innings during his senior season…also hit .485 with 10 runs and 54 RBI ... Played tournaments in Japan and Puerto Rico with high school all-star teams ... Bypassed a scholarship from North Carolina State University by signing with the Royals.
Went 9-3 with a 4.30 ERA (47 ER in 98.1 IP) in 20 appearances (16 starts) as a rookie across seven Major League stints ... His nine wins were one shy of Parker Bridwell for most among American League rookies, and were most among Royals rookies since the late Yordano Ventura (14) in 2014 ... Went 3-5 with a 2.92 ERA (23 ER in 71.0 IP) in 12 starts with Omaha (AAA), earning Omaha Pitcher of the Year honors ... Went 7-3 with a 4.16 ERA (43 ER in 93.0 IP) in 16 starts with Kansas City, and 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA (4 ER in 5.1 IP) in four relief appearances…according to Elias, he's the first Royals rookie with two wins as a starter and reliever since Tom Gordon in 1989 ... Made his Major League debut on April 12 vs. Oakland…he pitched a scoreless ninth inning, recording an inning-ending double play to erase a double and two walks ... Earned his first big league win on May 9 at Tampa Bay, pitching a scoreless 11th inning ahead of Mike Moustakas' go-ahead home run in the 12th ... Matched a minor league career high with 12 strikeouts in 7.0 scoreless innings (two hits) on May 26 at Nashville, tying for the most by an Omaha pitcher since the team began play in the Pacific Coast League in 1998 ... Made his first big league start on May 21 at Minnesota (Game 1), recording 4.0 scoreless innings before allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in the fifth…exited after 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts in a no-decision ... Earned his first big league win as a starter on June 11 at San Diego, holding the Padres to three runs-all solo HR-on six hits and one walk in 7.0 innings, with six strikeouts ... Named Royals Pitcher of the Month for August, going 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA (9 ER in 27.1 IP), best among American League rookies in five outings (four starts)…he's the fifth Royals rookie to go 3-0 or better in a calendar month (min. three starts), joining Kevin Appier (August 1990), Rich Gale (July and May 1978), Dennis Leonard (August 1975) and Steve Busby (September 1972) ... Became the first rookie to win Royals Pitcher of the Month honors since Louis Coleman in July 2011 and the first to do it as a starting pitcher since Brian Bannister in August 2007 ... Worked a career-high 8.0 innings in a 9-1 win on Aug. 6 vs. Seattle (Game 2), most by a Royals rookie since the late Yordano Ventura (8.1 IP) on July 4, 2014…became the seventh Royals rookie and first since Denny Bautista on April 8, 2005 to record 8.0 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks…retired his last 19 batters ... Pitched at least 6.0 innings with no walks in back-to-back starts on Aug. 6-14, becoming the first Royals rookie to do so since Luke Hochevar in June 2008 ... Recorded a career-high eight strikeouts on Aug. 29 vs. Tampa Bay and finished the month of August with 27 strikeouts and just two walks (8.89 K/BB), the best ratio in any calendar month by a rookie in 2017 ... Won five consecutive decisions over eight starts from Aug. 6-Sept. 20, going 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA (13 ER in 48.1 IP), .238 opponents' average (43-for-181), 38 strikeouts (7.08 K/9) and just five walks (0.93 BB/9)…his eight straight starts without a loss matched the second-longest streak by a Royals rookie, according to STATS, trailing only Dennis Leonard (10 straight) in 1975 ... Including his relief win on July 24 at Detroit, he won six consecutive decisions, matching the second-longest streak by a Royals rookie, one shy of Dennis Leonard (1975) and Tom Gordon (1989) ... Issued just 20 walks in 93.0 innings over 16 starts (1.94 BB/9), the fifth-best walk rate in the American League (min. 15 starts), trailing Josh Tomlin (0.89), Corey Kluber (1.59), Bartolo Colon (1.69) and Chris Sale (1.81) ... Went 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA (17 ER in 44.2 IP) in nine appearances (seven starts) at home ... The Royals went 11-5 (.688) in his 16 starts
Named Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year, posting the third-best ERA (3.25) in the Texas League...Pitched a flawless fourth inning at the Texas League All-Star Game in Springfield, Mo., recording a pair of strikeouts…also tabbed a postseason All-Star in the league...Ranked fourth in the Texas League in WHIP (1.15), tied for fourth in wins (9), sixth in strikeouts (117) and tied for 10th in starts (21)...Earned Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors on May 29, allowing one run on six hits over two starts (12.0 innings) during the previous week...tallied a season-high nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings vs. Arkansas in his final start with the Naturals…it was his highest strikeout total since 2013 with Idaho Falls (Rookie)...Promoted to Omaha (AAA) on Aug. 8 and finished the year with the Storm Chasers, going 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA over six starts.