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November 1, 2013

Raising Aces

Bush League: Kyle Zimmer

by Doug Thorburn


The Kansas City Royals chose Kyle Zimmer out of the University of San Francisco with the fifth overall selection of the 2012 draft. He was the second pitcher off the board, following LSU's Kevin Gausman, and he earned the distinction of having my favorite delivery of the opening round. Zimmer rose to the Double-A ranks in his first full season of pro ball, where he dominated for a handful of starts before he was shut down in mid-August due to stiffness in his throwing shoulder.

GS

IP

ERA

K%

BB%

H%

HR%

A+

18

89.7

4.82

29.8%

8.2%

21.1%

2.4%

AA

4

18.7

1.93

36.0%

6.7%

14.7%

2.7%

The timing of his shoulder flare-up was such that he missed only the last couple of weeks in the minor-league season, and the Royals decided not to push their prized prospect into action given his proximity to a preset innings threshold. The right-hander had his share of ups and downs in 2013, though his path did not follow the proverbial roller coaster ride. Instead, Zimmer endured three months of struggle before a sudden spike in performance near the end of June.

GS

IP

ERA

K%

BB%

H%

HR%

4/5 – 6/23

14

65.3

5.92

26.6%

9.7%

22.8%

2.8%

6/29 – 8/14

8

44.0

1.84

38.4%

4.9%

15.2%

1.8%

Strikeouts were never a problem, thanks to high-90s heat and a pair of sharp breaking pitches, but in the first half of the season, Zimmer surrendered a lot of hard contact while suffering from bouts of wildness. He did not earn his first win until June 12, prior to which he had given up five runs or more in each of five consecutive starts. His next start occurred 11 days later, but four earned runs and nine baserunners over six frames left him with another L on the stat sheet. He walked three batters on June 23rd, but it was the last time that he would surrender more than a pair of free passes in a game.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: A... (11/01)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: How Long... (10/25)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Great Pi... (11/08)
Next Article >>
Manufactured Runs: Mom... (11/01)

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