The Kansas City Royals removed a former first-round draft pick and added six players to their 40-man major league roster Friday, the deadline for protecting players from the Rule 5 Draft.
Kyle Zimmer, the fifth overall pick of the 2012 draft, was designated for assignment. At one time considered the organization's top prospect, Zimmer labored for seven years before reaching the majors in 2019. The right-hander pitched in 83 games for the Royals over the next three seasons, including 52 in 2021, when he went 4-1 with a 4.83 ERA in 54 innings.
The players added to the roster are right-handed pitchers Jonathan Bowlan, Collin Snider and Nathan Webb, catcher MJ Melendez and infielders Maikel García and Nick Pratto. Also on Friday, minor league infielder Lucius Fox was claimed off waivers by the Orioles. The major league roster is now full.
Pratto spent time with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha last season. In 61 games at Double-A the first baseman batted .271 with 15 home runs. Pratto then batted .259 and hit 21 homers in 63 games with Omaha. He was named a Double-A Postseason All-Star and earned a Minor League Gold Glove Award.
Melendez also spent time last season with both Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. He hit 41 home runs on his way to winning the Joe Bauman Award as Minor League Baseball’s 2021 home run leader.
Snider joined Pratto and Melendez in playing at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last season. He played in 48 games, earning three saves and posting a 4.48 ERA with 64 strikeouts.
Pratto, Melendez and Snider were invited to major league spring training in 2021 and were all selected in the 2017 draft.
In four games with Northwest Arkansas, Bowlan gave up three runs through 17 innings. The right-hander was selected in the second round in 2018.
Webb, a 34th-round pick in 2016, played in a combined 35 games last season at Low-A Columbia and High-A Quad Cities and recorded 89 strikeouts. He is a graduate of Lee's Summit North High School.
García batted .291 last season and was named Columbia's Player of the Year. The Royals signed the shortstop to a minor league contract as an international free agent in 2016.