Detroit Tigers News

MCB Top 30: #23 Zach Simons

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Proper Name: Zachary M. Simons
Born: May 23, 1985 in Glenns Ferry, Idaho
High School: Glenns Ferry (Idaho) HS
College: Everett (Wash.) CC
Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 200
Bats: L Throws: R

When Zach Simons was traded to the Detroit Tigers from the Colorado Rockies, he was not among one of the top relieving prospects in the Colorado system. So when the Tigers needed to make room for Fransisco Cruceta, and Jason Grilli was being booed out of Comerica Park, Simons was rooting for another chance. When the Rockies dealt him to Detroit for the Italian Stallion: Jason Grilli, Simmons began his reasscendence into being a top reliever.

Drafted in the second round of the 2005 first year player draft, Simons was born and raised in Glenns Ferry Idaho, a town with a population of 1,600 people. He was a three star athlete at his high school, and was drafted his senior year in the 38th round. Simons held off on his dream of being a professional baseball player though and headed to Everett Community College, where he was drafted from in the second round. After being traded to the Tigers, Simons filled in as the setup man for the HiA Lakeland Tigers, pitching 13 innings and striking out 14. Despite those strikeout numbers, Simons did give up a hit to one out of every four hitters in his time with Modesto as a Rockie. He held hitters to a .166 average while with the Flying Tigers.

After a solid 2008, The Tigers named Simons to the 40 man roster, where he was able to make a showing in spring training. Rooming with Ryan Perry and Rick Porcello, Simons was pretty excited to see his teammates from last year make a major league roster.

"“To do what those two guys did was incredible. I told Porcello I was more excited for him than he was. It doesn’t happen very often in this game that a 20-year-old and 22-year-old make the same club without pitching above high ‘A’ ball. That was a special moment.”"

Simons also had his own special moment this spring training, when his lack of experience came to bite him in the rear. On a road trip to Jupiter, the minor leaguer forgot a change of clothes and had to wear the clothes on his back for the road trip:

"“I had nothing. I got a toothbrush at the front desk. I’m wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday.”"

Simons will probably never make that mistake again, at least I hope not.

Scouting: 

Simons is what assistant Al Avila considers a “Sinker-Slider” pitcher. Projected as a setup reliever, Simons features a four seam fastball that sits in the low ’90s. If needbe, he can register it up to 95. What is so impressive about his fastball is it’s late explosiveness that causes many hitters to get jammed. That fastball also has a burst as it reaches the plate. His out pitch is the power curve, which has great depth when located well. It is considered a plus pitch when thrown with good command, but that seems to be the problem with Simons.

Simons also features a changeup, but it is a pitch that still needs to be developed. Once developed though, it could become a good third pitch in the arsenal. Though the Tigers have said numerous times that they like Simons’ ability to absorb instruction, he still tends to speed up his delivery and gets in funks where he loses control because of it.

So far this season, Simons has struggled in 2009 after being promoted to AA Erie. Here are his stats so far this season:

2009 Pitching StatisticsClub (League)ClassWLERAGGSCGSVIPHRERHRBBSOBB/9SO/9WHIPSTK%G/FErie (EL)AA105.40800015.01712916123.607.201.53—0.45Minor League Totals105.40800015.01712916123.607.201.53—0.45 

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