San Francisco pitcher Kyle Zimmer

, Star Tribune

Kyle ZIMMER, pitcher, U. of San Francisco

  • June 4, 2012 - 2:28 PM


RHP, San Francisco • 6-4, 220 pounds

Born: Sept. 13, 1991 (age 20)

Stats: 5-3, 2.85 ERA, 13 GS, 881/3 IP, 75 H, 28 R, 28 ER, 17 BB, 104 K

Scouting report: He pitched a little at La Jolla (Calif.) High School but went to USF to play third base. With an All-America at that position, the Dons converted Zimmer into a pitcher and struck gold. With a simple, repeatable delivery, he pounds the strike zone with a fastball that ranges from 92 to 98 mph. His slider needs work, but he has a swing-and-miss curve and a serviceable changeup.

Twins should take him because: He's a bulldog. In an NCAA regional last year, he outdueled UCLA's Gerrit Cole, the pitcher the Pittsburgh Pirates took with the first pick in the 2011 draft. Zimmer's mother and father were both college athletes, and his brother is an outfielder for USF, so there are good bloodlines. And his adviser is Mark Pieper, who negotiated Justin Morneau's last deal with the Twins.

Twins will pass because: It's hard to see him becoming more than a No. 2 starter. His velocity was slipping even before he missed a start this month because of a hamstring injury, so you wonder how he'd hold up to pitching 200 innings per year. He also saw lesser competition in the West Coast Conference and went only 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA against those teams this year.


RHP, Louisiana State

6-4, 185 pounds

Born: Jan. 6, 1991 (age 21)

Stats: 10-1, 2.84 ERA, 15 GS, 1072/3 IP, 93 H, 38 R, 34 ER, 24 BB, 125 K

Scouting report: With a high leg kick, Gausman can run his four-seam fastball 93-98 mph and also throws a hard two-seamer with better movement in the low 90s. When his changeup is on, it gives him a nice complementary pitch. The concern is whether he will develop a big-league breaking ball. He ditched an ineffective curveball in March and had better results with a slider, but he remains a work in progress.

The Twins should take him because: Some scouts believe he still has No. 1 starter potential. He ranked among the best preseason prospects for the 2010 draft but dropped to the sixth round after failing to impress as a senior at Grandview (Colo.) High School. He made good strides at LSU and is draft-eligible as a sophomore because he's already 21.

The Twins should pass because: Gausman has been battle-tested in the SEC and probably will be among the top seven or eight selections in the draft, so he's certainly not chopped liver. He has the velocity, but mastering a breaking ball is no small thing, so he would be a riskier pick than Mark Appel or Kyle Zimmer.

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