Royals looking for prospect Zimmer to impact 2016 club

Pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer turned heads this season.

The Kansas City Royals are excited about right-hander Kyle Zimmer, and seem to be heading toward expecting him to contribute to the big-league club some time in the 2016 season.

Zimmer, 24, is considered the Royals’ No. 3 prospect behind shortstop Raul Mondesi and pitcher Ashe Russell, and left a great impression on team officials in 2015 while splitting his time in Class-A Lexington (where he posted a sterling 1.13 ERA in nine outings out of the bullpen) and Double-A Northwest Arkansas (where he had a 2.81 ERA in 15 games). 

Royals vice president/assistant GM J.J. Picollo told’s Jeffrey Flanagan that Zimmer’s health was of the utmost importance to the team, and he turned heads this past season due to his ability to stay on the field: 

It's never been about ability with him,” Royals vice president/assistant general manager J.J. Picollo told “It's been just a matter of him staying healthy, and last year was his healthiest year.

“All we wanted for Kyle last year was for him to make it through a whole year, from spring through September, and he accomplished that.”

So how soon can the Royals hope to see the fifth overall pick of the 2012 Draft on the mound in a big-league uniform? Sooner rather than later according to Picollo: 

“He's a guy who we think can help us at the big league level some time next season,” Picollo said. “He has terrific stuff.”

Zimmer will head to Triple-A Omaha and pitch out of the rotation, putting him in line to presumably join the Royals’ staff sometime during next season barring any unforeseen setbacks.