- Full name Cole A. Kimball
- Born 08/01/1985 in Brooklyn, NY
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 240 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Centenary College Of New Jersey
- Debut 05/14/2011
- Drafted in the 12th round (361st overall) by the Washington Nationals in 2006.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Drafted as a raw thrower with intriguing arm strength and physicality but limited feel for pitching, Kimball gradually turned himself into one of the organization's top prospects heading into last year. After spending his first three pro seasons as a starter so he could get more innings, he found a home in the bullpen, dominating at four different levels in 2010 and 2011. After starting last season with 12 consecutive scoreless Triple-A outings, he earned his first promotion to the big leagues, where he continued to overpower hitters for 12 more innings before a shoulder injury ended his season. He had the same rotator-cuff surgery during the all-star break that Pedro Martinez had at age 39, performed by the same doctor. Before he got hurt, Kimball attacked hitters with a heavy 93-97 mph fastball, a swing-and-miss splitter in the mid-80s and a power curveball in the low 80s. He can throw the curve for strikes or bury it as a chase pitch. His shoulder injury casts doubt about his future.The Nationals hope he can make a full recovery by the 2012 all-star break. They took him off their 40- man roster in November and lost him on waivers to the Blue Jays, then reclaimed him two days later.
Kimball ranked as the top draft prospect in a weak New Jersey college crop in 2006 based solely on his arm strength, but he was regarded as a long-term project who needed to transform from thrower to pitcher. The Nationals used him as a starter for his first three pro seasons to get him innings, but he found a home in the bullpen in 2009 and broke out in 2010, capped by a dominant turn in the Arizona Fall League that earned him a spot on the 40-man roster. Kimball has taken off as he's learned to control his big, physical body. He has a long arm action and a high arm slot, but he has figured out how to repeat his mechanics fairly well, and he's throwing increasingly more quality strikes. Kimball attacks hitters with a heavy fastball that ranges from 93-98 mph. His 83-87 splitter is a swing-and-miss offering that ranges from average to plus-plus. Kimball has learned to throw his low-80s curveball for strikes early in counts, and it gives him a third out pitch at times. He has a fierce mound presence. Kimball will compete for a big league bullpen job out of spring training, though some seasoning at Triple-A Syracuse would do him some good. He projects as the future set-up man for Drew Storen in Washington.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the Washington Nationals in 2011