It’s been a big week for Bradley Zimmer.
After appearing in his first ever Future Games in Cincinnati over the weekend, he was told on Monday, July 13, that he has been promoted from High-A Lynchburg to Double-A Akron. The 22 year old University of San Francisco product will be taking his talents to Northeast Ohio.
Zimmer was the first round pick for the Indians in the 2014 draft. He split time in 2014 between Short Season Mahoning Valley and Low-A Lake County. In 48 games between the two teams, Zimmer hit .302/.400/.492 with 6 home runs, 12 doubles, 2 triples, along with 12 stolen bases. As impressive as 2014 was for the young outfielder, 2015 has shown vast improvement.
In 77 games at High-A Lynchburg, Zimmer has been on an absolute tear. Before his promotion, he had hit .305/.401/.488 with 10 home runs, 16 doubles, 3 triples, and a league leading 32 stolen bases. Only to be tied with Adam Engel from the Chicago White Sox system. Even though he wasn’t expected to have as much speed as he has shown, he’s worked it into part of his game and is now a tool that he will be able to utilize at any time.
Zimmer brings all five tools to the field. He hits for decent pop, as the Carolina league is considered not a homerun hitting league, yet he still has 10 bombs. His speed has improved, he does a nice job getting on base, and driving in runs. While he plays a solid center field, he has also spent some in right field.
With Francisco Lindor now a core part of the big league club, Zimmer easily slides into the Indians number one prospect. His progression though the system thus far has been nothing short of incredible. Since joining the Indians, he’s been a force to be reckoned with, and there is a real chance that he could benefit the big league club at some point in 2016. As for now, he’ll take his promotion to Akron and continue to do what he can to help out his new club.
After the promotion of fellow Indians top prospect Tyler Naquin, the RubberDucks outfield doesn’t really have any household names. The current outfielders include Anthony Gallas, Bryson Myles, Carlos Moncrief, Destin Hood, and Jordan Smith. While Zimmer is coming to Akron, no corresponding move has been made to bring him to the club. In order to bring in Zimmer, one of the current outfielders may be seeing a demotion to Lynchburg, or possibly be cut from the team. The two guys that could be seeing their time in Cleveland ending could be either Hood or Moncrief.
Hood was brought to the Indians system during this past offseason as a depth piece, but has been the backup centerfielder to Smith since Naquins promotion. Zimmer is likely to take over center, with Smith moving back to right, so Hood may be moving on to somewhere else that is not Akron. While Moncrief, who was once a highly touted prospect with the Indians, is running out of time to prove himself to the Indians. He’s 26 years old, and was recently demoted to Double-A from Triple-A Columbus. While he still has the ability to benefit a major league club at some point, the Indians have a log jam of outfielders, and sooner or later, a decision will have to be made to allow the more highly regarded prospects to advance to higher levels. Moncrief could be a victim of these moves.
This promotion of Zimmer continues to show that the front office is willing to make more aggressive decisions for promotions of their younger players. With the recent promotions of Naquin, Lindor, Cody Anderson, and Giovanny Urshela, it seems like the Indians would like to see their young guys in Cleveland as soon as possible to help what has currently been a stagnant offense. Zimmer is becoming the poster boy for what a quality player should be. I think sooner, rather than later, we’ll be seeing Zimmer in a Cleveland Indians uniform.
Photo: Liana Holub/DTTWLN Photographer
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People who say the Indians don’t know how to draft don’t know what they are talking about. The last 4-5 years Grant and his team have brought in a bunch of talent. Much of it is in the lower minors and it takes several years for a college kid and even more for a high school guy to come up through the system. Not everyone will make it and there are always injuries but the next several years Indians fans will see the talent coming up and other players being used in trades to bring in talent the Indians need.