Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #2 Kyle Zimmer

2. Kyle Zimmer Right Handed Pitcher

Age: 21
Position: RHP
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st Round (5th Overall) of the 2012 Amateur Draft
From: San Francisco, CA

Paden Bennett (4):  Out of all the Royals pitching prospects Kyle Zimmer is the one you should get to know very quickly, Zimmer is the one that could move the the system extremely fast because of his combination of a fastball that can reach 99 mph, a curveball that can get up to 81 mph and a solid changeup. All 3 of his pitches rank above average on the 20/80 scale.  I expect big things from Zimmer this season.  I think he will play at 3 levels this season.  Zimmer in my opinion will have a huge year and will be starting for the Omaha Stormchasers by the end of the season.  Keep a tab on this kid Royals fans because he has the stuff to front a rotation for us in the future.

Joe Cox (6)While the Royals have a lot of interesting young pitching, Kyle Zimmer quickly became the highest rated pitching prospect in the system after he was drafted fifth overall in last season’s amateur draft. Zimmer is a 6-3 185 pound righty that pitched for the University of San Fransisco is a polished pitcher at 21 years old and could advance to the majors as early as 2014.  The Royals will have no choice if Zimmer continues to dominate the minors like he did over 40 innings last season.

While pitching only 9 combined starts between rookie league and A level competition, he allowed only one home run and struck out 42 batters.   He also showed his command of the plate with only eight walks.  Zimmer has a four pitch arsenal, with a fastball that normally hits the low to mid 90’s.  His changeup is said to be his worst offering, but has potential to be an effective pitch if he can learn to command the pitch.  I would suspect Zimmer to begin the year in high A and reach AA or even AAA by the end of the season.  This was the perfect draft pick for the Royals last year and Zimmer has a good chance to be a top of the rotation arm for many years for the Royals, who desperately need to see a pitching prospect pan out.

Damion Mandalas (2):  One of the primary reasons to be so excited for Kyle Zimmer, is the way in which he fits into the Royals pitching philosophies. The Royals preach fastball, curveball, changeup and those are exactly the three pitches that Kyle Zimmer excels at. Also, the Royals like to grab pitchers early in their pitching careers in an attempt to mold them into the type of hurler they want them to become.

While Zimmer is already 21 years old, he has an incredibly low amount of mileage on his arm, compared to other college pitchers. The Royals probably take this to mean, that Zimmer has a considerably more upside than your typical college pitcher. For the Royals this represents the best of both worlds: an advanced pitcher who also has the upside that the Royals seek out.

Hopefully, all of these factors will contribute to the developmental victory that the Royals have yet to achieve when it comes to starting pitchers. Producing front end starters is the most difficult task of player development, but given the meshing of Zimmer and the Royals philosophies there is hope that Zimmer can be that front end guy the Front Office has desperately been looking for.

Dan Ware (2):  There is no reason at all to not be excited about Kyle Zimmer.  Our 2012 first round draft pick has already made a name for himself as the top pitching prospect in the Royals organization.  Needless to say, I'm very much looking forward to the day he gets the call to Northwest Arkansas. You can count on me being at his first start!

Zimmer, 20, showed great promise last year in his professional debut season with the Arizona League Royals and Kane County.  While going a combined 3-3 , he compiled a solid 2.04/2.32 ERA/FIP, good K/BB walk ratio of 29/8, allowing batters to hit just .267, and giving up only 1 homerun.  For those that haven't fully educated themselves on Kyle, he has a plus-plus fastball ranging from 95-99 mph that has good late movement.  Also in his repertoire, he has a curveball that's also considered MLB-ready, who Jason Parks said the other day on Twitter that his "hammer curve was at 81 mph; easy plus".  His changeup is considered above-average, ranking as 55 on a 20/80 scale from Baseball America.

Zimmer will start off in Wilmington as the leader of a potent rotation for the Blue Rocks including Sam Selman, Kyle Smith, and recently assigned John Lamb.  Assistant GM for the Royals, J.J. Picollo, stated Wednesday night during the Royals broadcast that Zimmer most likely will see time in Northwest Arkansas this season. 

Total Points: 110

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