Kyle Kinman was a 25th round draft pick for the Braves in 2014. He was the 763rd player picked in the draft. But if the early returns mean anything, the Braves might have found a bargain.
Kinman, a 5-10, 180-pound left-handed pitcher, made 19 appearances in Danville. He had a 2.43 ERA, with 24 hits allowed in 29.2 innings, only six walks and a whopping 43 strikeouts.
It’s not a surprise Kinman struck out a lot of batters. He led NAIA with 141 strikeouts in his junior season at Bellevue University before being drafted by the Braves. Kinman was a starter for the Bruins in 2014. He allowed only 67 hits in 92.1 innings, with 24 walks in his 13 starts.
Kinman, who just turned 24 on September 25, attended Northwest High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He then spent time at Butler Community College.
He was also a standout at the plate this past season at Bellevue, as he led the Bruins in average (.387), hits, doubles (18), triples (5), RBIs (66) and walks. Kinman played left field for Bellevue. But it was on the mound where Kinman made his mark, including a 22-strikeout performance in a game against the College of the Ozarks in March.
Reports have his stuff including a four-seam fastball that is in the 92-94 mph range, with a hard slider. Kinman’s delivery is very clean, with a high leg kick but he lands smoothly.
Kinman’s success in Danville prompted Baseball America to name him as the fourth best late-round pick in the 2014 draft. That’s a high honor considering how low he was drafted. The magazine also believes Kinman could be the closest to the big leagues of
Considering his success at Danville and his age, Kinman may be pushed to High-A Carolina to start the 2015 season. You have to wonder if the Braves will be tempted to put him in the rotation, to simply work on his stuff more and get him additional innings. They have done that a lot through the years with pitchers that were destined for the bullpen but still needed work on secondary pitches.
But since Kinman is small in stature, the Braves may prefer to see if he can find a niche as a lefty-reliever. Lefty hitters had a .148 batting average against Kinman in the Appalachian League.
You have to wonder if Kinman could be the Shae Simmons of the 2014 draft. Simmons was taken in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft and made it to the big leagues in two years.
If Kinman does well in 2015, he could be on the radar in 2016. Yes, a pitcher that has that type of success has to be taken seriously. And with his age, Kinman could quickly get into the discussion if he has a successful 2015 season.
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Prospect Report: Kyle Kinman
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