Royals Minor League Week in Review

Royals Director of Player Development Scott Sharp told me last week that the Royals 2012 1st Round pick Kyle Zimmer had a successful side throwing session last week. He also mentioned that Zimmer could throw a start in Arizona for extended spring training. A successful start there could mean a promotion to AA Northwest Arkansas as soon as next week.

Last season Kyle dominated High A and AA after making an adjustment with his hands from the stretch. The move seemed to help as Zimmer's final 8 starts of the year (last start just 2IP 0 H, 0 BB) resulted in just 25 hits, 8 walks while striking out 63 batters over 43.2 IP. His move to AA with similar results could push a quick move to Omaha and maybe more late in Kansas City's season if they should be making a push for the playoffs.

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Weekly Review May 11-17

Omaha went 3-3 this week with outstanding team performances on Monday and Tuesday versus New Orleans. On Monday the offense pounded out 19 runs lead by Jimmy Paredes hitting for the cycle while Tuesday Francisley Bueno, Brett Tomko, Buddy Baumann and Spencer Patton shutdown the Zephyr offense, limiting them to just 3 hits and striking out 14 hitters.

The Chasers hottest bat this week was Christian Colon who hit .500/.522/.636 in 24 plate appearances with 3 doubles and 4 RBI. Starting pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon continues to excel at AAA ranking in the Top 10 in ERA despite taking a loss against Memphis allowing just 2 runs in 7 innings.

The AA Naturals also went 3-3 during the week despite a pair of walk off home run wins via their shortstop Orlando Calixte. After encountering visa issues that pushed his start to the season back the power hitting middle infielder didn't take long to get going, connecting on 3 home runs this week.

Besides Calixte, starter Tim Melville had a good start going on May 13th versus the Arkansas Travelers striking out 7 in the first four innings before running into trouble in the 5th. The right-handed starter would yield four runs in that fifth inning via three extra base hits and a pair of walks. It would lead to a tough loss for Melville but he would set a career high in strikeouts for a single game by striking out the side in that fifth inning. It would be Tim's first 10-strikeout game of his minor league career. His previous high in strikeouts in a start had been 8, which he had performed twice, once in Burlington in 2009 and once in Wilmington in 2010.

The Blue Rocks 3-4 record during the week kept them a game out of second place and 3.5 games behind first place Potomac. A heavily weighted schedule versus Southern division Myrtle Beach to start the season put the Rocks in that hole but with games coming up against Frederick (19-21) and Carolina (19-20) the Rocks have an opportunity to dig out of the Northern cellar and put a winning record on the board in the first half.

Pitching will lead the way as it always at Frawley field and lefty starter Jonathan Dziedzic could be one of the starters that help. The 2013 draft pick is off to an outstanding start at High A going 4-2 with a 1.59 ERA in his first 7 starts while striking out 44 in 39.2 IP. He doesn't have the size of Sean Manaea measuring in at just 6'0 and 165 pounds but he seems to have a pretty good handle on the strike zone, walking just 8 in those 7 starts.

A solid 5-2 week for Lexington getting plenty of good starts along the way from Jake Junis, Luis Rico and Luis Santos as the Legends won four in a row prior to a loss on May 15th. For the lefty Rico it was his first win of the season and easily his most effective as he went 7 innings while allowing just 2 hits and a walk against 5 strikeouts.

Leading the way on offense was Dominique Taylor who hit .357 in his 15 plate appearances while pounding out three home runs and a double. Teammate Tyler Chism pitched in plenty as well knocking out 2 homers and a pair of doubles.

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