Tigers Scouting Report #15: Kevin Ziomek

Kevin Ziomek made his full-season debut in 2014, and had a very successful beginning to his pro career, posting an ERA in the low-two's, and sharing the spotlight in the rotation with a number of top picks from the 2013 Draft. This year, with Buck Farmer trying to crack the big league staff and Jonathon Crawford traded, the spotlight will be on Ziomek. Where will he be, and how will he hold up?

Kevin Ziomek


Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 3/21/1992 (2015 Opening Day Age: 23)
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bats/Throws: Right/Left
Acquired: 2013 MLB Draft, 2nd Round
Ranking History: #15 (2014), #15 (2015)

Background: Popped in the second round in 2013 following an up and down career at Vanderbilt, Ziomek pitched sparingly in his pro debut with Connecticut that summer. He made a strong impression with a very good season at Low-A West Michigan in 2014, winning ten games and posting a 2.27 ERA across 23 starts.


2014 Stats - Pitching
West Mich 23230123.089545315315262.271.1510-6

Scouting Report

Body: Long, lean frame; long legs and arms; good proportion; decent strength; room for additional strength, but substantial changes are unlikely at this point; good athlete.

Delivery/Mechanics: Has some funk; a little herky-jerky at times; good arm action that extends well to the back side; very quick from the back to the release point, lending to some deception; pulls across his body; deception exists throughout delivery; difficulty repeating delivery in the past but made strides in 2014; still improvement needed against advanced hitters to establish consistency.

Fastball: Velocity consistently 89-91 mph, will slow it down to 87-88 at times with additional movement; can ramp up for 92-94 mph on occasion; good arm-side run in middle and lower velo bands; ball flattens out and plays down in upper velocity stretch; arm slot varies and natural inconsistencies in delivery force command of pitch to play down; decent angle to plate that moves ball through zone on vertical plane, making it tough to square; solid-average pitch that could play to slightly above-average long term; may play up slightly in shorter bullpen stints. Grade – Present 5/Future 5+

Slider: Best secondary pitch; can mix break; at times throws tighter, sharper slider that will dart out of the zone at times; More frequently pitch has some looseness to it and needs to be consistently tight; shows ability to bury the pitch at times; potential above-average secondary pitch that can miss bats. Grade – 5/5+

Curveball: Worst secondary pitch; very inconsistent and not a reliable offering to be used in critical spots; will cast at times; can show ability to firm it up, tighten the spin and miss bats; lacks ability to put it together with pitch on a regular basis; more of a show-me offering. Grade – 4/4+

Changeup: Inconsistent offering; will go missing during starts and sometimes never shows up at all; at his best he shows an ability to turn it over and get some sink and fade on offering; good arm speed most of the time; slot varies much like FB and that causes command issues with pitch; feel is hit or miss; potential average pitch but still coming along. Grade – 4+/5

Control/Command: Improved strike throwing in 2014 but still raw with ability to locate pitches and move the ball around the zone; catches a fair amount of the plate on a consistent basis and will pay for those mistakes at higher levels; very much a profile for control rather than command; lack of location will force pitches to play down a half tick much of the time.

Other: Hard working kid; intelligent; mixes offerings well; learns from mistakes and tries to improve every inning and every outing.

Final Word

Summary: Back-end profile; mixes and matches four-pitches to maximize effectiveness; FB and SL are legitimate big league average pitches that could still improve a half grade; CH and CB lab behind; overall command profile may never develop but has potential to pound strike zone; thinks like a pitcher but executes as a thrower; delivery has substantial inconsistencies; good frame and strength to handle innings; broad arsenal to turn a lineup over; primary pitches could play up in short burst role.

Risk: Moderate risk; Minimal gap between present and future grades; low level only resume; limited ceiling mitigates risk.

Projection: Should begin 2015 season at Double-A and will be challenged by advanced hitters; developmental strides in consistency – and in turn – command and pitch crispness are necessary for success at higher levels; likely on MLB radar by mid-2016; potential #5 starter.

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