Kevin Ziomek - Brace Hemmelgarn-USA Today Sports
Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt
Birthdate: March 21, 1992 Age at Draft: 21.18
That video of Ziomek is from high school; I can't find a publicly-accessable video of him in college that I can legally embed here. Even Ziomek's MLB.com 2013 draft profile is just a high school video. There is a subscription video at Scout.com from his time in the Cape Cod League here, but you have to have a scout.com subscription to access it.
In any event, video or no, Ziomek is a college pitcher to watch closely this spring and a potential first round pick.
Ziomek was a high school pitcher in Amherst, Massachusetts, and a first round candidate back in 2010. He fell to the 13th round due to a strong Vanderbilt commitment, and chose to attend college rather than sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Used mostly in relief as a freshman, he posted a 1.59 ERA with a 47/16 K/BB in 45 innings with 33 hits allowed.
Expected to take a larger role in 2012, he moved to the starting rotation but had a difficult sophomore year, with a 5.22 ERA and a 79/39 K/BB in 79 innings with 79 hits allowed. His velocity was down, his breaking stuff wasn't as crisp, his command wasn't as sharp, and scouts critiqued his arm action and mechanical consistency. However, '12 ended on a positive note with a strong showing in the Cape Cod League. His velocity was back, he threw strikes, and posted a 1.27 ERA with a 36/6 K/BB in 28 innings. He enters 2013 as one of the key components on the Vandy staff.
Ziomek is a good athlete who was listed at 6-2, 180 in high school but has gained size and strength in college, now listing at 6-3, 200. When everything is right with Ziomek, he shows a 90-93 MPH fastball, although his velocity is known to sag into the upper-80s when his delivery is off.
His top secondary pitch in high school was his slider, but his changeup has moved ahead and is now his best pitch to off-set the fastball. His breaking ball can be slurvy but it reportedly looked good on Cape Cod, and when he's throwing strikes all three pitches work well. Ziomek's arm action has some hooky funk to it, hurting his stock with some scouts, but when he repeats his mechanics properly (as he did last summer) it makes him more deceptive.
His position in the 2013 draft depends on which Ziomek we see this spring. The 2011 freshman and 2012 summer ball Ziomek is an impressive strike-throwing lefty with three major league pitches, who would fit ideally in the back part of the first round or early in the supplemental. The erratic Ziomek of spring 2012 is problematic, more of a project that would intrigue some teams but scare others off.
I don't know which Ziomek we will see this spring, but when everything is right he profiles as a number three starter. I'm inclined to like him, but I have a known bias in favor of pitchers from cold weather backgrounds.