The Kansas City Royals are the reigning World Series champions. Pretty crazy, huh? They made their second consecutive run to the Fall Classic behind a lot of home grown parts. The scary thing is that they may be waiting on one of their best home grown products of the whole lot.
Kyle Zimmer was the Royals first round pick — selected fifth overall — in the 2012 MLB Draft. He was immediately one of not merely the Royals top prospects, but highly regarded as one of baseball’s best pitching prospects in the game.
Standing in at 6 foot 3 and 215 pounds, Zimmer had the frame and smooth delivery that MLB pitching coaches dream about having in their rotation. It seemed that Zimmer – the 20-year old kid out of the University of San Francisco — would be on the fast track to Kansas City and an integral part of their rotation.
So, what happened?
The injuries began.
And never stopped.
Zimmer has dealt with two elbow injuries, a lat injury and shoulder injury and corresponding surgery over the past three seasons. He has yet to complete a full season in professional baseball. Last season, he finished the season arguably the healthiest he has ever been. The Royals eased him back, not starting his season until May and then working him out of the bullpen until August. He returned to the starting rotation in Double-A to make seven starts, and he showed the stuff that made the Royals drool over him just a few years earlier.
He was impressive enough that the Royals protected him by adding him to their 40-man roster. Now, the Royals aren’t the only ones highly anticipating what Zimmer’s future holds.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support! I am very excited and blessed to be part of the @Royals and can’t wait for 2016!
— Kyle Zimmer (@kylezimmer11) November 21, 2015
You’re intrigued, aren’t you? If you want to find out more analysis and projections about Zimmer’s past, present and future, click the link below and check out my piece at minorleagueball.com.