Looking at Bradley Zimmer‘s minor league stats is like this, “Damn, girl, you look good,” and you follow her with your eyes from her legs up until you get to her face when you realize it’s your sister and you nearly vomit. An illustration: there’s a suitcase labeled Bradley Zimmer. You begin to unpack the suitcase and you find solid power. Next thing you know you find great speed. The ability to walk is in there too. Nice! Then, you see that your toiletries have exploded and you have toothpaste all over the ability to lay off a curve and there’s Ks all over the place. NO! Not on my one pair of fancy jeans! I’m Crest-fallen, pun noted and intended. Everywhere I look Zimmer is considered a top 25 prospect. Prospector Ralph has him as a top 10 prospect in his top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list, Baseball America has him at 26 overall, MLB has him at 25 and Prospector Ralph’s other half Halp from the Prospect Podcast has him at 15. Of course, BA and MLB need to be taken with a grain of salt and more weight should be placed on Ralph and Halp (shouldn’t they just be Halph?). They’re not more important here simply because they’re Razzball, but because BA and MLB are considering real baseball not fantasy. So, what can we expect from Bradley Zimmer for 2017 fantasy baseball?
There’s definitely a place in the Indians’ lineup for Zimmer to get an early-season look. He’s better than Abraham Almonte right now. Of course, the Indians should be embarrassed of themselves if they get through the entire offseason trading season and still have Abraham Almonte as their left fielder, but last year they did next-to-nothing in the offseason and made it to the World Series, so maybe they do the same, and rely on Zimmer. Brucely, I think that would be a mistake. Zimmer doesn’t look ready. With each level promotion, he’s exposed further. In Double-A two years ago, he struck out one quarter of the time, then a 28% strikeout percentage last year in Double-A and, finally, 37% in Triple-A. In Arizona Fall League, it’s not looking much better as he struck out 26 times through 22 games and 74 ABs. Tim Tebow only struck out 20 times in 19 games. Zimmer is doing everything else as well as he’s always done, which is why we’re talking about him at all. Has 4 HRs and 8 SBs in those 22 games, and last year between three levels, he had 18 HRs and 46 SBs. So, a young Curtis Granderson? Grandy actually never struck out that much. I asked Prospector Ralph and he gave me George Springer as a comparison. To give you an idea of where my head is at, I asked Ralph, while saying to him, Zimmer looks like Drew Stubbs to me. That gives you an idea of how low I am on him. Zimmer is still young, so maybe he fixes his contact problems. I was thinking maybe the best case scenario is Chris Davis with 15 homers and 35 SBs, if that makes sense, which it doesn’t. Finally, Prospector Ralph texted me, “Joc Pederson! That’s who Zimmer is. Now, excuse me while I go drop some bars in the studio with Ras Kass.” My guess is the Indians grab some garbagey vet to play outfield until June and we see Zimmer then, with some of his power, flashes of great speed and lots of Ks. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 39/6/24/.228/21 in 354 ABs.