Draft press conference notes: Round one
The 2012 June Free Agent Draft kicked off on Monday, and according to the prognosticators, it unfolded with some early surprises. The Royals owned the fifth pick and were ready for every scenario from the first pick to the fifth. In the end, the Royals got the player that they wanted in USF pitcher Kyle Zimmer.
General Manager Dayton Moore, Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo and Director of Scouting Lonnie Goldberg participated in a press conference after the selection.
Goldberg was asked how soon Zimmer could reach the Majors. While Goldberg sees the talent to pitch right away, he says that Zimmer will need some seasoning and could be in the big leagues in two years.
Moore sees a player who is hungry to play, a top academic talent from an athletically gifted family, and a perfect fit for the organization.
Zimmer was reached by telephone after the press conference. When asked what it was like to be drafted, Zimmer said “speechless”. He is excited and looking forward to making history as a Royal. He has never been to Kauffman Stadium, but he has seen games on TV and believes that it is a beautiful venue.
A former position player, Zimmer is very happy that he made the transition to pitching. He describes himself as a gritty competitor, dating to his days as a position player. He likes watching Matt Cain of the Giants and has been told that his approach resembles Josh Johnson of the Marlins. Goldberg also mentioned Matt Cain as a player that Zimmer resembles.
One additional note – a reporter asked about 2011 first-round pick Bubba Starling, who has been playing in extended spring training. Picollo said that a decision will be made this weekend on what team Starling will join with the extended spring schedule wrapping up.