Although the Indians Tribe had to wait until the bottom half of the first round to make their first selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft Thursday night, they still had three more to go in an action-packed evening as one of a few clubs stocked with four selections between the first two rounds – giving the Tribe four picks among the first 68 players drafted.
That’s likely the reason why the Indians used their first-round pick (21st overall) to select Bradley Zimmer, a center fielder from the University of San Francisco, instead of going with a pitcher.
Zimmer’s older brother Kyle Zimmer – a right-handed pitcher - was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Kansas City Royals and also attended USF. But the younger Zimmer is an outfielder who hit .368 with 10 doubles, seven triples, seven home runs and 31 RBI in 54 games this season. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder also had 21 stolen bases, 31 walks and scored 42 runs and was the only collegiate player in the nation to place in the top 50 in stolen bases and slugging percentage.
Not long after hearing the news during a celebration with his family eerily similar to the one his brother had two years previously, Bradley Zimmer tweeted: “This is the moment I've been waiting for since the day I could say the word baseball. Good luck to all my boys from. #TUSA39 #MLBDraft.”
The Indians are on clock again soon with 31st overall pick - a first round compensation pick for losing right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in free agency.