Right now, just about a month into the season, Yordano Ventura has been compared to pitchers such as Pedro Martinez. Nolan Ryan himself referred to Ventura as the “total package.” Yet, there is another pitcher who has yet to throw a pitch this year who is considered to be the top pitcher in the Royals system, a pitcher thought to be a future ace for the Kansas City Royals. That pitcher is none other than Kyle Zimmer.
Despite being sidelined with bicep tendonitis and a sore shoulder, it is thought that Zimmer might be able to make an appearance in Kansas City by the end of the year. Should Zimmer build on his performance for Northwest Arkansas last season, when he went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 18.2 innings of work, then Zimmer could find his way to the Royals in the near future.
Of course, to fulfill that promise, Kyle Zimmer will need to defy the Royals recent history when it has come to pitching prospects. Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy and John Lamb, amongst others, were all thought to be future top of the rotation starters. Duffy has, at least, been able to provide a glimmer of hope during his time in the bullpen and may end up back in the rotation in the future. If Bruce Chen continues to pitch as though he is the second coming of the 2009 version of Sidney Ponson, that time could come a lot sooner than later.
With James Shields expected to depart at the end of the season, the Royals are going to need another pitcher to front their rotation in the future. With Ventura already showing that he could be an ace in the making, having a second starter that could fill that role would leave the Royals in an enviable position of having two young top of the rotation starters. All that is needed is for Zimmer to fulfill his promise and be ready for the start of the 2015 season.
The Kansas City Royals have had a lot of disappointment when it comes to top pitching prospects. With Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, that may be about to change in a hurry. With Zimmer, the sky could be the limit.