This is the fourth of six profiles on the players the Orioles might target with the No. 4 overall pick in Monday night's amateur draft. Today: Kyle Zimmer
Name: Kyle Zimmer
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 220 pounds
Hometown: La Jolla, Calif.
School/Class: University of San Francisco/junior
Skinny: Rose to prominence last year and stock keeps rising. ... Was the Dons’ ace in 2012, going 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 104 batters while walking just 17 in 88 1/3 innings. ... Fastball sits in mid-90s and tops at 99 mph. ... Also has a power curveball and throws a changeup and slider for strikes. ... Scouts love his demeanor and clean delivery. ... Threw three complete games, including consecutive shutouts this season. ... Baseball America lists him as top right-hander in the draft. ... Excelled in 2010 with Alexandria Aces in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, which plays in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. ... Was recruited as an infielder and pitched only five innings as a freshman. ... Wasn’t drafted out of high school in Southern California. ... Younger brother also plays for USF.
Why the Orioles will take him: Fastball command has been a mantra for the organization, and this guy is a poster boy: a flame-tossing strike-thrower.
Why the Orioles won’t take him: Both Zimmer and LSU’s Kevin Gausman could be on the board at four, and the club may decide to go with the pitcher who has been on the radar a little longer than ride Zimmer’s shooting star.
Connolly’s take: If I am a betting man, I put the best odds on this kid – assuming high school outfielder Byron Buxton is off the board.