The Kansas City Royals have selected right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer out of the University of San Francisco. There was a lot of chatter about the Royals selecting a college hurler with the 5th overall pick and they have done just that. They actually had an interesting option of drafting the Stanford righty, Mark Appel, with the 5th selection, as he unexpectedly fell all the way to the Pirates with the 8th pick.
There were probably a lot of Royals fans clamoring for Appel but it seemed unlikely that the Royals would be able to negotiate a contract with him given his agent is Scott Boras. Therefore, the Royals took the guy they had been wanting, in Kyle Zimmer. Zimmer was in the list of three of the top collegiate pitchers available in this draft also including Appel and LSU right hander Kevin Gausman.
My first reaction to the selection is praise. I think the Royals did the right thing in selecting Zimmer and it seems most Royals fans have been in favor of the move as well, or at least those on Twitter. Zimmer had a fantastic season for the Dons this past year posting a 2.85 ERA and serving as the club’s ace. I’m more fascinated by his ability to limit his walks and rack up strikeouts. He recorded 104 strikeouts to only 17 walks in 2012.
Zimmer stands at 6’4″ and weighs in at 220 pounds. He is a young 20 year old with plenty of time to grow and develop as he hits the professional ranks. I believe he has a few mechanical issues to work on but nothing major. It appears he has a lean towards home and breaks his hands a tad too early, but once again it’s not a major issue.
He has three good offerings including a curveball, changeup, and a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and has touched 99. He is very polished for someone who picked up pitching his freshman season at USF after transitioning from 3rd base. He has a fresh arm and could be on the fast track for the big leagues. I believe we could see Zimmer as early as the 2014 season. My first projection has him as a solid number 2 with the possibility of advancing into an ace, but of course, that would depend on his development and the Royals ability to develop him as a starter.
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