I recently wrote about the Kansas City Royals‘ role in the aftermath of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ unbearably painful playoff loss, and quickly realized that although the prospect of the oncoming baseball season was soothing, I still hadn’t recovered from my sports depression enough to be truly hankering for the 2014 Royals.
The thing that brought me back to being irrationally, childishly excited for baseball was the way local media is setting the stage for Royals Spring Training invitee Kyle Zimmer to dominate in the very near future.
A quick trip to the Royals’ official homepage would convince you that Zimmer is the Royals’ equivalent of Yasiel Puig. Two out of seven “latest news” articles, one of three video links, the headline story and the streaming video all revolve around this 22 year-old who’s never thrown a big-league pitch. One can find seven different photos of Zimmer and 11 different mentions of his name on one single homepage.
There are references to his placement on the top 10 list of right-handed pitching prospects, remarks on his clean mechanics and arsenal of potential plus pitches and even streaming video of the man himself explaining his struggles during school days. That’s a whole lot of pub for a guy that recorded a 4.82 ERA in the Advanced-A Carolina League last year.
All this comes before he has even set foot in Surprise Stadium. While many expect great things from Zimmer in the somewhat-near future, don’t bum yourself out by expecting Cy Young-worthy pitching from him this year. As much as this ad blitz would love you to believe — at least enough to buy a new Zimmer uni — he hasn’t even seen triple-A ball yet.
Although his lack of experience should inspire some caution, the Royals’ PR team shouldn’t be scolded for highlighting some up-and-coming talent. Like I said, it certainly got me excited. This should only be taken as a conservative warning to anyone saving up for that no. 15 jersey. Just don’t let the hype doom you to disappointment this season.