Breaking Down Kevin Ziomek

by Greg Lowder in

Cotuit's Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) hails from Amherst, Massachusetts and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round of the 2010 draft.  He worked primarily out of the bullpen his freshman year at Vanderbilt but still amassed 45.1 innings, 47 strikeouts, 16 walks, and a shiny ERA of 1.59.  Pitching for Cotuit last summer, Ziomek started 5 of the 6 games he appeared in while striking out 16 and walking 12.  Ziomek was tested significantly this spring as he joined the Vanderbilt rotation, appearing in 19 games, 16 as a starter, while striking out 79 and walking 39 across 79.1 innings.  I caught Ziomek's start against Bourne on July 1st and was impressed by his polish and, above all else, his confidence.

Ziomek is listed at six foot three inches and 200 pounds but appears closer to 190 pounds.  Assuming he's done growing, his frame will handle additional weight as he gains strength.

Ziomek has a rather mechanical delivery with a hitch during his high leg kick.  He wraps his wrist and curls the ball down by his back leg before striding to the plate.  However, during his stride, his arm action is clean despite staying just slightly off line to the plate and throwing a little across his body from a three quarters delivery.

His fastball sat at 90/91 and bumped to 92 with a little arm side run.  He commanded the fastball well to both sides of the plate and showed some feel for an 80-83 mph change-up.  His change-up can get a little firm but still showed good depth.  His breaking ball could get him into trouble because his arm slot drops and he gets around the ball.  When he snapped off a good curve, it featured late two plane 1-7 break at 77-79 mph.  He may have also thrown a slower two-seamer at 88 but if he used it, he does so sparingly.

Ziomek showed incredible confidence on the mound.  He made one mistake and left a fastball over the plate for Bourne DH Josh Dezse (Ohio State) to deposit over the fence.  He followed Dezse's home run up with a strikeout on three pitches without skipping a beat.  Ziomek worked at a pace that would make Mark Buehrle proud as he barely hesitated between pitches.  He varied his delivery with runners on base between 1.56 and 1.39 seconds.  Even at 1.39, he's not exactly quick to the plate but by varying his slide step, he does enough to disrupt the runner's timing.  Adding to his credit, his pickoff move was remarkable as he caught one runner and almost had another.

Ziomek doesn't currently feature a plus pitch but his polish and pitchability is better than any pitcher I've seen these last two summers.  While his delivery is very mechanical, his arm action works and if (or when) he gets stronger his fastball should tick up and become a weapon.  His secondary pitches need work but they both flash potential.  I plan on catching Ziomek's next start tomorrow night against Wareham.