Kyle Zimmer

From BR Bullpen

Kyle Joseph Zimmer

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Biographical Information[edit]

Kyle Zimmer was the second pitcher taken in the 2012 amateur draft.

Zimmer hit .410/.492/.701 as a high school senior. He allowed four earned runs in 5 1/3 IP as a college freshman then starred in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, with a 1.37 ERA in the summer of 2010. In the 2010-2011 college campaign, he improved to 6-4, 3.73 with 89 K in 91 1/3 IP. He made first team All-West Coast Conference. His junior year, he went 5-3 with 2.85 ERA, striking out 104 in 88 1/3 innings while walking only 17. He led the WCC in shutouts and strikeouts while placing 9th in ERA. He was 15th in NCAA Division I in K/BB ratio. The Kansas City Royals chose him with the 5th pick of the 2012 amateur draft, the second hurler chosen, one pick after Kevin Gausman went. He soon signed for a reported $3 million bonus.

He made his pro debut June 12th for the AZL Royals, allowing one run in two innings against the AZL Giants with two hits and three strikeouts. He went 3-3, 2.04 in 9 games, also pitching for the Kane County Cougars that year, but it turned out to be his best pro season. He had a losing record in 2013 (6-9, 4.32), then pitched only 6 games in 2014, all the way back down with the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League. In 2015, things went better as he was 3-5, 2.39 in 24 games between the Lexington Legends and Northwest Arkansas Naturals, making it to AA. He had another setback however, as he was limited to just 3 games in 2016 and then had no decisions in 21 games in 2017, between Northwest Arkansas and the Omaha Storm Chasers, with a 5.40 ERA. Injuries bothered him those two years, and then forced him to miss all of 2018. He was a free agent then, but the Royals gave him another chance, signing him to a one-year deal prior to spring training in 2019.

Zimmer finally realized his life-long dream of making it to the Show when he translated a solid spring training in 2019 into a spot in the bullpen on the Royals' opening day roster. He made his debut on March 31st, pitching an inning of scoreless relief against the Chicago White Sox.

Kyle's brother Bradley Zimmer was also a first-round selection, being selected with the 21st pick of the 2014 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians. On September 27, 2021, Kyle allowed a homer to Bradley, who was playing for the Indians, the first time a player had homered off his brother since Joe Niekro had done so against his brother Phil in 1975. There were only two other instances of this happening in major league history, with Rick Ferrell homering off Wes Ferrell in 1933 and George Stovall off Jesse Stovall in 1904.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "Oh, brother! Zimmer homers off Zimmer",, September 27, 2021. [1]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "Brothers Kyle and Bradley Zimmer could pull off rare MLB feat", USA Today Sports, March 8, 2016. [2]

Related Sites[edit]