Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1. Kyle Zimmer
2015 was looked upon as a make or break year for Kyle Zimmer. He had plenty of talent and potential, yet the Kansas City Royals prospect just could not stay healthy, missing time each season with a myriad of injuries. When Zimmer began the 2015 season with yet another injury, it was expected that this would be yet another wasted season.
Instead, Zimmer re-established himself as one of the Royals top pitching prospects. He started the season in Lexington, where he dominated. In his 16 innings, Zimmer posted a 1.69 ERA and a 1.069 WHiP, striking out 21 batters against six walks. Promoted to Northwest Arkansas, Zimmer continued his excellent performance, putting together a 2.81 ERA and a 1.167 WHiP. In his 48 innings at AA, Zimmer struck out 51 batters against 14 walks, continuing the solid command he has displayed throughout his career.
As encouraging as Zimmer’s performance was, perhaps the best sign for his future was that he managed to start seven games. Despite typically throwing between 70 and 80 pitches per outing, Zimmer was still able take the ball every five days without his elbow or shoulder acting up. Could Zimmer truly be ready to take that next step forward, and be over his injury woes?
Kyle Zimmer was certainly impressive last season. With his performance, and the hope that his injury concerns are behind him, he is once again the Kansas City Royals top prospect.