Kyle Zimmer Interview

Kyle Zimmer was drafted in the 1st round (5th overall) of the 2012 draft out of the University of San Francisco. He signed quickly and made his professional debut a little over a month after the draft. He was able to make nine starts before undergoing a minor surgery to clean up his elbow – something the Royals knew would need to happen when he was drafted.

In all, he made three dominant starts in the Arizona rookie league before making the jump to A-ball with Kane County, where he made six more starts. He finished the year with a combined 9 games started, 39.2 innings pitched, a WHIP of 1.20, and 9.6 K/9 rate.

What is your pitching repertoire?

4-seam fastball, sits 93-97, touched 100 once, according to Kyle

Curveball, sits 81-83

Slider, sits 87-88

4-seam change (held with ring and middle finger), sits 86-87

What's your go-to pitch when you need a strikeout?

Kyle is confident with all his pitches, but the curveball is the one he uses when he needs a swing and miss.

What do you need to work on most to continue your success?

Kyle needs to get more experience throwing his change-up. He didn't have to use it much before he entered professional baseball.

In what level do you think/hope that you'll begin the year?

Kyle feels confident that he'll start out in Wilmington with the possibility that they may even start him out at NW Arkansas. He feels confident that he can move through the system quickly.

In what level do you think/hope that you'll end the year?

Kyle hopes that he can move quickly enough to make it to Kansas City, but "that's everybody's goal."

Which hitter from Kane County would you least like to pitch against?

Jorge Bonifacio

In what major-league stadium do you most look forward to pitching?

"Kauffman Stadium, of course"

Also looks forward to pitching in Fenway Park because of the history there.

What is your throwing regimen during the season?

Day 1 – Pitch in game

Day 2 – light throwing – maybe out to 120 feet

Day 3 – side/bullpen session – 30-40 pitches off mound

Day 4 – just playing catch, loosening up the arm, a little bit of long toss

Day 5 – play catch just to keep arm loose

What was it like to switch positions in college?

"It was not easy." He had spent his entire life playing in the field, and when he got to college, the coaches at the University of San Francisco suggested that if he wanted to keep playing for them, he needed to switch to pitcher. Kyle says it was the best thing they could have done for him.

Do you feel that there is added pressure on you since you were a 1st round draft pick?

Yes and no. There are more eyes and expectations on Kyle because of when he was drafted, but he puts the pressure on himself the most.

As a kid, who helped you the most to get to where you are now?

His parents. They were very supportive in him doing whatever he needed or wanted to do.

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