2014 MLB Draft: No.21 – Cleveland Indians – Bradley Zimmer
While Bradley Zimmer would have liked to go higher than number twenty-one, the increasing need and value of major league pitching ultimately cost the junior out of San Francisco a few positions. Nevertheless, the brother of Kansas City Royal Kyle Zimmer, Bradley joins a Cleveland Indians farm system that is dense with pitching – eleven of their top twelve prospects are position players according to MLB.com. The Indians’ front office make sure that their draft strategy is loud and clear, having selected seven more position players in the first ten rounds alone.
Zimmer is a legit five-tool guy, who will be able to play any spot in the outfield. The 20 year olds main strength is his ability to hit to all sides of the field, and in an age where shifts and defensive alignments play increasing importance, Zimmer will send opposing teams and coaches nuts. Plus speed and a strong arm will mean the Indians will get a great defender as part of the overall package and on the base paths, Zimmer should be able to steal 30 bags a year comfortably.
The development team will work with the 6’4 left-handed batter to add more power to his swing, and a consistent 30/30 (home runs and steals) major league career looks promising. However, due to the four outfielder prospects already high up in the organization’s minor league system, it may be a lengthy process before Zimmer actually makes it to the top level. Expect him to be ready by the 2016 season, but be prepared to wait until 2018 to see him in Ohio.
Zimmer was taken in the 23 round in 2011, so should be keen to play at the next level after three years of college, and a relatively easy sign compared to some of the other first rounders.