Eric Kimber(Dudley High School) signed a free-agent contract today to pitch for the Kansas City Royals farm system…Eric, a pitcher, and with being a former Dudley Panther, he is also a former North Carolina Central Eagle and he has most recently been playing here locally in Greensboro, with Enad Haddad and his Greensboro Reds…
All this until Eric Kimber attended a Kansas City Royals tryout camp in Burlington this past Friday and as of today, Monday at 7pm, Eric Kimber is property of the Kansas City Royals…
Eric joins his brother Corey Kimber in the professional baseball ranks, Corey a pitcher in the San Diego Padres farm system/organization…*****Corey Kimber has been moved up to the San Diego Padres single A affiliate Tri-City Devils in Seattle Washington.*****
Congratulations to Eric Kimber, “Big E” and all of the Kimber family on this very important day in the life of their family…Eric never gave up, he never quit, and now he is a professional baseball player…
He will report to Arizona, but let’s hope he gets a chance to pitch in Burlington, N.C., with the Burlington Royals this Summer…The season begins for the Burlington Royals on Friday June 19….
You’ll see them coming, look out for the Kimbers….
Dale Ijames(Kernersville, N.C.) is the local Triad scout for the Kansas City Royals…..
More on Eric Kimber from the North Carolina Central athletics web site:
NCCU’S KIMBER SIGNS PRO BASEBALL CONTRACT WITH KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Rovigo DURHAM, N.C. – On Sunday night, former North Carolina Central University baseball student-athlete and recent graduate Eric Kimber received the call that every little leaguer dreams of.
On the other end of the phone was a scout from the Kansas City Royals, who noticed Kimber’s pitching ability and athleticism during a tryout on Friday (June 12) in Burlington, North Carolina at the home of the Burlington Royals. The scout liked what he saw and offered Kimber a professional contract with the Kansas City Royals.
“That was a very exciting moment,” said Kimber about the life-changing phone conversation. “I almost couldn’t maintain my composure.”
Kimber signed the contract on Monday evening at his home in Greensboro, North Carolina and will fly to Arizona on Tuesday to join the Royals rookie team.
Although Kimber spent much of his three-year NCCU career in the outfield or infield, his opportunity at the professional level will be as a pitcher. As a senior in 2015, the dynamic Eagle started 20 games at third base, 18 in left field, five at second base, two in right field, two at designated hitter and two as a pitcher. In three total pitching appearances this season, Kimber tossed just 5.0 innings.
Still, during Friday’s tryout just minutes away from his hometown, Kimber took full advantage of his 20 bullpen pitches by lighting the radar gun to between 92-94 miles per hour.
“The transition will be a challenge at first,” Kimber said about making a full-time move to the mound. “(At NCCU) I was being used where I was needed, but now I can concentrate on pitching.”
In three seasons at NCCU, Kimber accumulated 46.1 innings pitched in 19 appearances with 10 starts. Most of that work came in 2014 with 38.0 innings pitched in 14 appearances with seven starts.
“I feel like I have worked hard enough and someone saw the effort,” said Kimber, who graduated from NCCU in May with a degree in psychology.
“The road was tough,” he said about making the jump from Dudley High School to playing college baseball. “It humbled me – coming to college and having to work hard to earn a spot and keep a spot.”
Kimber understands that this opportunity would not have been possible without the help of his NCCU family.
“Big thanks to my teammates, coaches and athletics staff members at NCCU that helped me out,” he said. “I didn’t do it by myself.”
Kimber is the first NCCU student-athlete to sign with a Major League Baseball franchise in the modern era of the program (since baseball returned in 2006).
“This is a tremendous honor and opportunity for Eric,” said NCCU baseball head coach Jim Koerner. “He has been working hard towards this goal since I’ve known him and it’s been a pleasure watching him mature and improve. Eric is extremely athletic, and now that he can finally focus on just pitching he is only going to continue to improve.”