If the Kansas City Royals could have placed their 2012 MLB Draft wishes into a job posting, it would likely read something along the lines of: “Starting pitcher needed. Must be near finished product with several plus pitches. Could advance quickly.” The end result? Kyle Zimmer was the team’s first overall selection at No. 5 in the draft, and scouting reports say that despite a late season fade at San Francisco, Zimmer will be just fine for the Royals in the end.
"He’s a guy that will be able to eat innings," said an AL scout to Baseball America. "Even if he doesn’t become a front-of-the-rotation starter, he’ll be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 that can give you 200-plus (innings) in a season. That’s extremely valuable. He’s a special pitching prospect. There’s little to no risk with this guy."
The Royals certainly hope so. The starters at the Major League level right now for Kansas City are lucky to get through six innings. To have a guy who could consistently deliver that amount while posting respectable totals is exactly what they need. Even their offseason addition of Jonathan Sanchez has only exacerbated a volatile staff rather than settling it.
Zimmer isn hardly a sure thing, simply because MLB history is littered with promising arms that didn’t make it in the end. Even the Royals current system has several once-hyped pitching prospects that are still waiting to make good. But adding a pitcher labeled safe like Zimmer is exactly what the Royals needed. It might lack the flash of a high velocity ace, but the Royals just need someone dependable at this point. Perhaps he’s on the way.
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