KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals have drafted San Francisco right-hander Kyle Zimmer with the fifth overall pick, adding an advanced arm to an organization starved for pitching.
The Royals picked Zimmer over Stanford's Mark Appel, who many believe was the best pitcher available. Zimmer is a converted third baseman whose fastball reaches into the upper 90s.
Like most small-market clubs, Kansas City is forced to build largely through the draft, and is just now enjoying a wave of position players from their farm system. But the Royals have been largely unable to land a front-line starting pitcher for several years.
They chose Aaron Crow in the first round in 2009. He's now a reliever.