The Cleveland Indians hope they found the solution to their injury woes in the outfield.
Welcome to The Show, @Bzimmer5. pic.twitter.com/docttMtLTP— #VoteTribe 5x a day (@Indians) May 16, 2017
The Indians called up Bradley Zimmer on Tuesday. Widely regarded as 1A to Francisco Mejia’s 1B, John Sickels ranked Zimmer his second overall Indians prospect, 20th overall in his Top 205.
Here’s what John had to say about him:
Age 24, hit .250/.365/.425 with 15 homers, 38 steals, 77 walks, but 171 strikeout in 468 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; broad range of tools and skills, above-average speed, throwing arm, and raw power he has yet to fully tap; draws walks even when having contact issues, helping his OBP; may not hit for high averages but should be strong secondary average contributor; ETA: late 2017.
Zimmer — like his brother, Royals pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer — was a first-round MLB Draft pick. The Indians selected Zimmer 21st overall in the 2014 draft out of San Francisco, and now at the age of 24, he is heading to The Show.
The 6-foot-5, 220 pound left-handed bat does a little bit of everything well. While he isn’t your traditional five-tool superstar a la Mike Trout, he blends solid defense, decent speed and nice pop into one of the best all-around games in the minors.
Zimmer was slashing .294/.371/.532 over 33 games at Columbus. It was his second stint in Triple-A, neither being enormously large sample sizes, as he appeared in 37 games last season. He added 11 doubles, five home runs and was successful in 9-of-12 stolen base attempts.
His strikeout rate has always been a bit worrisome, and it was no different this season at 29.9 percent. However, he normally balances it with a decent walk rate, sitting at a career 12 percent walk rate entering 2017. This season he is walking just 9.7 percent of the time. He’s also posting a career-best .238 ISO, so perhaps he has been a bit more free-swinging.
It’s not fair to think that Zimmer is a .294 hitter, especially when you see his current .405 BABIP. Paired with contact issues in the past, it may also be fair to temper expectations. Zimmer likely won't come in and have a Cody Bellinger debut. That being said there is a lot to like about him He has the tools to be a decent hitter for average, a future 20-20 raker, with solid defense prowess and arm strength.
The Indians aren’t wasting any time, as Zimmer is set to bat ninth as the starting centerfielder for the Indians in his Tuesday night debut. He has shown the ability to be a top-of-the-order weapon throughout his career. It’s scary to think what he could do at the bottom of the lineup hitting into Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis.