Kyle Zimmer 's contract was selected by the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
The Royals wanted to protect Zimmer against the Rule 5 draft. His prospect stock is trending up after he finished 2015 strong and, more importantly, healthy. Zimmer could move fast in 2016, probably spending the bulk of the year at Triple-A, with the potential to join the big league club at the end of the year.
Since then, the 23-year-old right-hander has posted a microscopic 0.78 ERA in 23 innings of relief. He owns a 32:8 K:BB ratio while pitching between Class A Lexington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He hasn't allowed a run in four appearances since being promoted to Double-A.
The oft-injured prospect was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) by the Royals in 2012.
Zimmer began experiencing soreness in his shoulder while throwing at the team's Arizona complex. He was expected to join Double-A Northwest Arkansas this Sunday but will no longer do so. Instead, he'll stay in Arizona to battle through this latest issue.
Ever since he was drafted in 2012, Zimmer has dealt with injuries. He hasn't made it out of a professional season without a surgery.
The 23-year-old is expected to resume bullpen sessions next week with the hope of restarting his throwing program soon thereafter.
Zimmer is recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late October, but he has been able to throw live batting practice.
Zimmer, who is considered the Royals' fourth-best prospect by Baseball America, hopes to be pitching in games by May.
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