Cleveland Indians Nearly Ready for Bradley Zimmer to Step In
The defending American League champion Cleveland Indians could get better from within, with the entry of an exciting outfield prospect into their lineup.
The Cleveland Indians had a magical 2016 season, one that fell just one victory short of baseball’s ultimate prize. Cleveland won the American League Central Division crown by eight games. The Indians then bounced a pair of AL East heavyweights, the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, out of the playoffs.
Advancing to the World Series for the first time in nearly two decades, Cleveland bolted out to a lead of 3-1 against the heavily favored Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs rallied, and tied the Fall Classic, sending it to an epic Game Seven. That final game went down to a rare “Golden Pitch” twice. Either club had a chance to win the World Series based on the outcome of that pitch.
It is now the Indians who are left to carry the weight of the longest such drought. Cleveland has not won the World Series since 1948.
PLENTY OF RETURNING TALENT
As they look ahead to defending both their AL Central title and the American League pennant in 2017, the Indians would appear to again be a favorite.
More from Call to the Pen
- Cleveland Indians Might Be Perfect Fit With Boone Logan2d ago
- Cleveland Indians Top Ten Prospects For 20175d ago
- Cleveland Indians Suffering from World Series Postpartum Depression?6d ago
- Cleveland Indians 2016 Player of the Year: Corey Kluber1 w ago
- MLB: Brainy Bauer Helps Cleveland Indians Fan with Homework2w ago
ZIMMER THE TRIBE’S TOP PROSPECT
Zimmer is a 6’4″ lefty hitter with tools galore. He was the Indians’ first round pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of San Francisco.
Thus far in his professional development, Zimmer has demonstrated tremendous knowledge of the strike zone. He also possesses above average speed and uncommon instincts.
In a 2015 season split between High-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron, Bradley hit .273 with a .368 on-base percentage. He produced 16 homers, 26 doubles, 63 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 44 steals in 549 plate appearances.
This past season, Bradley split the year between Akron and Triple-A Columbus, hitting for a .250 average, but with a .365 on-base percentage. He produced 15 homers, 25 doubles, 62 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 38 stolen bases over 557 plate appearances.
ZIMMER IN THE FALL AND THE FUTURE
Zimmer then helped lead the Mesa Solar Sox to the championship of the Arizona Fall League. There he continued to demonstrate his advanced approach with a .421 on-base percentage.
On a team that included stud hitting prospects such as Ian Happ, Brian Anderson, Franklin Barreto, Eloy Jimenez, and Anthony Alford, he led the squad with seven doubles, 16 RBI and 25 runs scored. Zimmer was also second on the club with four homers and eight steals.
You won’t see Zimmer taking over a starting role in Cleveland when the 2017 season opens. He still has some finishing work to do in the minors, so fans of the Tribe can expect him back with Triple-A Columbus.
However, this is a genuine talent. By the time the Indians are moving toward the stretch run, looking to secure another run at ending their 68-year championship drought, Zimmer should be ready to step up and provide them a youthful spark.