One of the Royals’ top pitching prospects, right-hander Kyle Zimmer, was among the 16 non-roster players invited to major league spring training on Thursday.
Zimmer, the Royals’ first-round pick in 2012, will join fellow pitchers Jason Adam, Scott Alexander, Aaron Brooks, Sugar Ray Marimon, Cory Wade and P.J. Walters in Surprise, Ariz.
Zimmer pitched in 22 games between High-A Wilmington and Class AA Northwest Arkansas last season, compiling a 6-9 record and 4.32 ERA. He showed especially strong stuff at Northwest Arkansas, where he was 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA, striking out 27 and walking just five.
Zimmer is expected to contend for a spot in the big-league rotation this spring.
The rest of the players receiving invitations were: Catchers Juan Graterol, Adam Moore and Ramon Hernandez; outfielders Jorge Bonifacio, Gorkys Hernandez, Paulo Orlando and Melky Mesa, and infielders Jason Donald and Brandon Laird.
The Royals’ pitchers and catchers report to camp on Feb. 14, while the full squad is to report on Feb. 19.