Right-hander Kyle Zimmer dropped from the KC Royals top prospect in the preseason to their second best prospect at the end of July. That mainly had to do with the fact that Zimmer still had not pitched in 2014.
Health has been Zimmer’s biggest obstacle since signing with the Royals in 2012. He missed all but six games in 2014. However, those six outings only came at rookie level Idaho Falls.
Zimmer was sent to Triple-A Omaha for the Storm Chasers championship run and he dominated in short spurts out of the bullpen.
The Royals looked to give him innings in the Arizona Fall League and winter ball, but the injury bug bit again. A shoulder issue ended his AFL season a week after his 11 strikeout, five scoreless inning performance in Week 2 (he earned AFL Pitcher of the Week honors).
Zimmer shoulder surgery and realistically won’t be ready until May. It will be the second straight spring training that he will not be a participant.
Despite the lack of innings and experience, many believe Zimmer has the best stuff in their organization. If only he can stay healthy.
Who knows where the Royals will start Zimmer once he is cleared to pitch. I think they should move him slowly so he can finish the year strong and hopefully healthy. 2016 will be the year for the Royals to push Zimmer.
Stay tuned later today for a look back at #1.