Kyle Zimmer

Position: RHSP
Level: High A
Affiliate: Wilmington Blue Rocks
Age: 24
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 1st Rd. (#5 overall) 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft (KCR)

Prospect Spotlight

The Potential Tools: 60 FB, 60 CB, 50 SL, 50 Command

Strengths: Big, broad body; consistent ¾ arm slot; easy, repeatable low-effort delivery; strong lower half and core; FB works 91-to-94 mph; moderate downhill plane; CB is a swing-and-miss offering; 12-to-6 shape with tight spin and sharp break two-plane break; features FB look and has deep depth; can throw it for a strike and a chase offering; SL is short, horizontal-breaking pitch with mid-80s velocity and has FB disguise to it; CH has some tumbling action; will flash average; commands the zone well; can throw all pitches for strikes in any count and chase strikeout pitches; could build arm strength and stay a starter; could overshoot projection if arsenal returns to what it was before injury.

Weaknesses: No deception in delivery; pitches play true and can be squared up often; FB often finds hard contact; serious injury history on resume; multiple surgeries on shoulder; struggles to hold velocity deep in starts — makes pitches play down later in game; all pitches flash higher than projections but are inconsistent post injury; stuff is depressed from previous projections; likely ends up a reliever due to injuries.

Role Ceiling: 50; low #3/4 SP or closer.

Risk: Moderate; long injury history.

Summary: After the 2013 season, Kyle Zimmer was arguably one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball. His arsenal included a 96-to-99 mph fastball, 70-grade curveball, 55-potential slider and 50-potential changeup, with an above-average command projection. Multiple shoulder surgeries later, Zimmer has had a hard time building arm strength and working his way back into a rotation. His stuff is depressed from what it used to be, but it still is certainly effective. His fastball works in the low 90s and it can reach higher at times while his curveball isn’t as sharp as it used to be, it still projects as a bat-missing pitch.

If Zimmer can prove he’s healthy and can build arm strength, it still is hard to trust him as a starter but he could certainly be a serviceable high quality, back end of the rotation arm. If the Royals decide he is a reliever for the future and let him loose in the bullpen, there’s a chance Zimmer’s velocity could increase in short bursts and his pitches could play higher than their projections as a closer.