After a slight adjustment, Kyle Zimmer started to roll through the Carolina League. He’d told Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star that he’s changed his hand placement in the set position when going from the stretch, and since, he’s seen a solid run of success.
On Sunday, that run continued. Now he’s headed to Northwest Arkansas to try out Double A batters.
Zimmer struck out ten while walking just one against Lynchburg on Sunday for his fourth straight great start for Wilmington. Over his last four starts, he’s thrown 25 innings, allowed five runs and struck out 36. In his last two starts, he’s reached double figures. Through it all he’s walked a total of three batters. His WHIP over that period? A ridiculous 0.680.
Before the 2013 season, the Royals were throwing out signs that they wanted to see Zimmer on a fast track up the ladder. There were even hints that he might see time as early as this September in the big leagues. Zimmer struggled early for the Blue Rocks while working on his secondary pitches, but Dayton Moore saw enough in a visit last week that, after Sunday’s start, convinced him to push Zimmer up a level.
What I find refreshing is that the Royals are making a move at a point where a prospect is showing that he’s made an adjustment and shown mastery over a level of competition. Zimmer’s ready to take this step, even if it’s just for a look at what he can do or if it’s for the rest of the year. His High A numbers look rough (4.82 ERA in 89.2 innings), but his last four times out have been utterly dominant, and it’s enough progression to get him up to higher competition.
After Sunday’s game, Blue Rocks manager Vance Wilson talked about losing a guy like Zimmer who didn’t take anything for granted or feel entitled as a first rounder:
Zimmer himself talked about making the move and admitted it was bittersweet to leave his current situation, but he’s excited for the opportunity:
Zimmer still has to drive out to Arkansas to join the team, but his next start should be within the next five or six days.
A big thank you to our own Jen Nevius for the Youtube videos and comments and her assistance in confirming Zimmer’s promotion. Follow her on Twitter at @JenNev8 for Royals minors info and especially Wilmington info and videos.