Tyler Zuber may not be a household name when it comes to Kansas City Royals fans, but it likely won’t take long to gain a lot of interest from the fan base. Heading into the 2018 MLB season, Zuber is hoping to make quite a bit of noise and move up through the Royals’ organization.
After being drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Zuber played in 19 games. He ended the year with a 1-0 record to go along with a 3.62 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched. Those numbers may not look amazing, but the Royals were happy to see him get off to a strong start in the organization.
Kansas City has always done a great job of drafting and building their farm system the right way. Zuber is not listed as a top-30 prospect at this point in time, but that has not bothered him. Instead, he is working harder to prove that the Royals made the right decision by drafting him.
Looking ahead at the 2018 season, Zuber has a chance to make a major impact in his first full professional season. If he can continue showing the consistency that he had last season, there is a good chance that he will take a step or two up in the Royals’ organization. If he does that, he could start gaining some attention on the top prospects list for the franchise.
Evan Massey of Lifestyle Sports 101 had the chance to sit down with Zuber for an exclusive interview. If you are a Royals fan or simply like finding new talents to keep an eye on, this article is must-read material for you.
First up, we talked about how life has gone for him in the Royals organization so far.
“It has been unbelievable! The staff is always willing to help and to give you advice. They were very welcoming. They made it feel like home for me!”
If you haven’t seen him play, he was happy to give a description of what he brings to the field.
“I bring a bulldog mentality. I want to attack the hitters with my best stuff. I bring an attitude to the mound that not much affects me and I want the other team to feel that as well.”
He went on to talk about who his favorite team and player were growing up and how it feels to be a professional ball player himself.
“I grew up liking the Yankees because they were winners and I liked Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. My favorite player growing up was Greg Maddux because of the way he pitched. It feels amazing. This has been a childhood dream of mine and I’m trying to turn a dream into a reality and make it to the MLB.”
Zuber also talked about what he thinks his biggest strengths and weaknesses are at this point in his career.
“Biggest strengths are my ability to locate my fastball and spin a breaking ball with a strong mentality. Weaknesses would be some inconsistency at times. I’m really working on being consistent and staying within myself and not trying to be someone I’m not.”
He has big goals for 2018 and was happy to share a couple of them with us.
“My goals are to play a full season and make the All-Star game and earn a promotion one step higher at the end of the year.”
It's important to surround yourself with people with the same intentions and goals as yourself! Love my new family! pic.twitter.com/lsp4wp8adL
— Tyler Zuber (@TylerZuber) August 22, 2017
When asked if there was a current MLB pitcher that he tries to model his game after, Zuber had an excellent answer.
“I would say I model my game after my own. I’m me for a reason and I ultimately want to be me. I try to do what Tyler Zuber does best.”
As for advice for a young pitcher with dreams of playing professionally, Zuber has some great advice.
“Play your heart out on every pitch. You never know who is in the stands watching and whose radar you can get on if you perform well. Always think to do something better than the next guy. Never stop working, never stop believing, and always keep the faith!”
In closing, Tyler sent out a message and a shoutout to some who have helped him along his path to professional baseball.
“Best of luck to all the guys out there playing! Big shoutout to Arkansas State for allowing me to play, my family whose support is second to none and I could never repay them, and big thanks to God for the ability that he has given me to play the greatest game!”
We hope that you have enjoyed this interview and will follow Tyler as he takes the next step of his baseball journey in 2018 with the Royals.