Royals sign No. 5 overall pick Kyle Zimmer for $3 million

5 Comments

No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa has already agreed to a contract with the Astros and the Royals announced that No. 5 overall pick Kyle Zimmer is also under contract just three days after being drafted.

Zimmer is a right-handed starter from the University of San Francisco who many draft experts felt was neck and neck with Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman as the top college arm available.

He’s a converted position player and just 20 years old, so Zimmer may not move through the minors quite as quickly as a typical college ace. MLB’s slot bonus amount for the No. 5 pick is $3.5 million, but Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Royals got Zimmer signed for $3 million.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

Getty Images
3 Comments

The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.