In what seems like record time – a mere three days – Kyle Zimmer has gone from being the unsigned #5 overall pick to a member, and no doubt one of the top prospects, of the Royals organization.
The Royals held a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce that they had reached a deal with Zimmer. While the terms of the contract were not made public at the time, the figures eventually made their way out.
The Royals and Zimmer agreed upon a $3 million signing bonus, $500K lower than the slot the Royals were given at the number five. The extra $500K the team saved could help them potentially sign high school players who are on the fence between college and the pros.
Alongside Royals assistant general manager of player development J.J. Picollo and scouting director Lonnie Goldberg, his parents in tow, Kyle adorned a Royals jersey and cap and answered questions from the KC media. Questions arose about the hamstring and subsequent groin injury he suffered toward the end of the season. Zimmer assured that he is nearly 100% and ready to take the mound again.
“The hamstring is feeling great and the groin is feeling pretty good, too. It’s just a little bit of tightness. But my arm’s never felt better … I’m really looking forward to just getting back on the field and being able to just feel the dirt under my feet again.” – Kyle Zimmer
So where does he go from here?
The plan is for Kyle to attend extended spring traning in Arizona, where the Royals can keep a close eye on his hamstring, before likely being assigned to Low A Kane County. The hope is for him to get in 45-60 innings on the mound this summer in order to keep him on track to start next season in High A Wilmington.
The Royals hope to see Zimmer take the bump in Kansas City within the next two to three years.
Side note: The Royals also signed another draft pick – third round selection LHP Colin Rodgers. The Louisiana high schooler signed for $700K ($223,500 over the suggested bonus).