24-Year-Old Pitcher – Kansas City Royals
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The oft-injured righty was able to log 64 innings across Low-A and Double-A in 2015, which should actually be viewed as a success, given his history of shoulder injuries. When he is healthy, Zimmer ha...
Zimmer (shoulder) will throw an inning in an extended spring training game Friday, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reports.
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Kansas City Royals Roster
MajorsButera, Drew (C)
AAAAlexander, Scott (P)
AABinford, Christian (P)
A+Antonio, Mike (SS)
AAparicio, Julio (OF)
RookieAracena, Ricky (SS)
Kyle Zimmer: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Shoulder issues plagued Zimmer's 2014 campaign, as the former fifth-overall pick was slow in his recovery during the early months of the season, and was eventually shut down for nearly two months in May. He was able to work back to rookie ball in August, and appeared to be back on track to get in some extra work during the Arizona Fall League, but that came to a grinding halt when he experienced renewed shoulder tightness and was shut down again for the remainder of the fall/winter season. Finally, some good news arrived in October when his MRIs came back free of structural damage, but he still needed to undergo a debridement of his rotator cuff and labrum. The current expectation is that Zimmer will use extended spring training to build up strength in anticipation of a late-April return. When healthy, the right-hander brings a mid-90s fastball with an above-average slider and curveball to the table, and is widely regarded as the top pitching prospect in the Kansas City farm system. If he can exceed expectations and put together a full season, Zimmer could see MLB time towards the end of 2015, but the Royals will surely take a cautious approach to his development.
Zimmer was the Royals' first-round draft choice (fifth overall) back in 2012 and he seemed to breeze through both rookie ball and the Low-A level. Even more impressive was that he did that with bone chips in his elbow which were eventually cleaned out through surgery after the season ended. A four-pitch arsenal at his age also makes for a big impression. Zimmerís fastball lives in the low-to-mid 90s, with good movement, and can touch the upper 90s. He also has a curveball, slider and changeup, all of which could still use a bit of improvement, but in reality, not by much. Last season he spent most of the year at High-A Wilmington where he posted an 11.3 K/9 and while his ERA hung up at 4.82, his FIP of 3.12 indicated that the culprit was the defense. The club promoted him to Double-A for the tail end of the season and with the move came an even more impressive display. His strikeout rate increased, his walk rate decreased and over 18.2 innings he posted a 1.93 ERA. He'll likely start out the season at Double-A, but it wouldn't be a shock to see him quickly promoted to Triple-A with a strong showing. He's the top pitching prospect in the organization and the speed at which he will arrive in the majors will only enhance that belief.
As one of the top three pitching prospects available in the 2012 draft, Zimmer was snatched up by the Royals with the fifth overall pick and immediately went to the head of the team's pitching prospect class. He dominated the competition in rookie ball and was quickly moved up to Low-A after just three starts and finished his first professional season with a combined 2.04 ERA and 9.5 K/9 over 39.2 innings. He also managed to finish with a 1.8 BB/9 which shed some light on his command potential. Zimmer has a solid four-pitch arsenal with a fastball that tops out in the mid to upper-90s and a curveball that some feel is actually his best pitch. He'll likely start the season in High-A, but could be quickly moved up to Double-A if he continues on his current path.