Sports always had been a family endeavor in the Zimmer household.
The past decade, however, it’s become baseball dominated, as Eric and Cathy Zimmer have watched their two boys grow into professional baseball players.
On Thursday, two years after the Zimmers sat with their oldest son in the family living room in La Jolla, Calif., when Kyle Zimmer was selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Royals, they relived the moment.
This time, it was their younger son, outfielder Bradley Zimmer, whose baseball path was paved when the Indians selected him with the 21st overall pick.
Now Eric (who played baseball at UC San Diego) and Cathy (who ran track at San Diego State) have sons who will make a living playing baseball.
They might also face each other for the first time in the near future as rivals in the American League Central Division.
“I definitely got my speed from my mom,” Bradley Zimmer said after being drafted. “And I get my power and the arm from my dad.”
The younger Zimmer then took aim at his older brother, who is a pitcher.
“We both know that I could take him all day,” he said with a grin.
Indians director of amateur scouting Brad Grant is intrigued by the possibility.
“I’d like to see that matchup, I think it’d be a really good one,” Grant said with a laugh. “Hopefully, Bradley can take him out of the yard.”
The Chicago Cubs previously drafted Bradley Zimmer as a high school senior in the 23rd round in 2011. But he opted to follow in his brother’s footsteps and attend the University of San Francisco.
“Hopefully in the near future, I’ll be squaring off against him on the big stage,” Bradley Zimmer said. “I know that day will come eventually. I think everyone’s looking forward to it.”
Sign him up
The Indians’ second first-round draft pick, Justus Sheffield, a left-handed pitcher, became the first player of the Indians’ 2014 draft class to agree to terms. Not even 24 hours after Sheffield, a high school senior, was chosen with the 31st pick, he signed a $1.6 million contract that includes eight paid semesters at Vanderbilt University for whenever he might choose to attend classes.
Sheffield, 18, was 10-0 with an 0.34 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 61⅔ innings at his Tullahoma, Tenn., high school.
A day before being drafted, Sheffield, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, became the first high school athlete from Tennessee to win a Gatorade National Player of the Year Award.
Sheffield’s selection gives the Tribe back-to-back Gatorade National Player of the Year award winners. Outfielder Clint Frazier, who was drafted by the Indians with the fifth pick in the first round last year, won the award in 2013.
More draft picks
The Indians added eight more draft selections Friday. They are high school first baseman Bobby Bradley (third round, 97th overall); high school left-handed pitcher Sam Hentges (fourth round, 128th); college right-hander Julian Merriweather (fifth round, 158th); college outfielder Gregory Allen (sixth round, 188th); high school catcher Simeon Lucas (seventh round, 218th); high school right-hander Micah Miniard (eighth round, 248th); shortstop Alexis Pantojas from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy (ninth round, 278th); and college second baseman Steven Patterson (10th round, 308th).
KSU pitcher drafted
Kent State left-handed junior pitcher Brian Clark was drafted in the ninth round (258th overall) by the Chicago White Sox. Clark converted to a starter this season and had a 3.77 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 15 starts.
A reliever for the Golden Flashes during his first two seasons, Clark, a Stow native, has a career 13-9 record, 2.91 ERA, 14 saves and 131 strikeouts in 151⅓ innings.
Indians fans can get a look at outfielder Mike Papi (38th overall pick in the competitive balance round) at noon today on ESPN2 when the University of Virginia plays Maryland in the NCAA Super Regional.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.