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A look at how Bradley Zimmer and other Indians 2014 draft picks did this year

Bradley Zimmer, Mike Papi, Bobby Bradley, and more.... How did the Tribe's new hitters do in their first taste of pro ball?

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians had what Baseball America considers the best 2014 draft of any MLB team. They were aided by having 5 picks in the top 100, but they deserve credit for seeming to have chosen wisely with those picks. Here's a brief run down on how 2014 went for the Tribe's top five position player draftees (you can find the team's top five pitching draftees here):

Bradley Zimmer (1st round, 21 pick overall)

A 21-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder, Zimmer was initially sent to Mahoning Valley, where the Tribe's higher level short-season club plays. In 197 PA he batted .304/.401/.464, with 17 extra-base hits and 11 stolen bases. That production earned him a quick promotion to Lake County (Single-A), where he slugged 2 home runs in the final 3 games of the regular season, before collecting 8 hits in the team's six postseason games.

Mike Papi (1st round, 38th pick overall)

A 22-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman, Papi played all the way to the finals of the college World Series, and after a little downtime and a few days in Mahoning Valley, Papi was sent to Lake County for the second half of the season there. In 165 PA with the Captains, Papi hit only .178/.305/.274. His walk rate (15.8%) was good, and his strikeout rate wasn't terrible (19.4%), but he had only a .204 BABIP.

Bobby Bradley (3rd round, 97th pick overall)

An 18-year-old, left-handed hitting first baseman, Bradley was sent to play rookie ball in Arizona, where he dominated, batting .361/.426/.652 with 8 HR and 50 RBI in 176 PA, winning the league's Triple Crown and leading the team to the league's championship. On talent he was pegged as a middle of the second round talent, but he fell due to concerns over whether he'd actually sign. The Indians took that gamble, and right now it looks like a good one.

Greg Allen (6th round, 188th pick overall)

A 21-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder, Allen was sent to Mahoning Valley. In 270 PA he batted .244/.361/.298, with 30 stolen bases in 35 chances, and 46 runs scored. He walked more times than he struck out, and his .274 BABIP is surprisingly low for a player with his speed (making me think he was at least a but unlucky). He didn't show any real power, but with plus defense and plus base running, one doesn't need power in order to be a great player.

Simeon Lucas (7th round, 218th pick overall)

An 18-year-old left-handed hitting catcher, Lucas went to Arizona, but played in only 16 games. He hit .217/.345/.326. He struck out in 46% of his plate appearances, so I think we've got to hope he was just a bit worn out by the time he got there.


Outlook for 2015

Zimmer, Papi, and Allen should all be in Lake County to start the year, though at some point you run out of outfield spots to give players, and I can't be exactly sure who else in the farm system should fall in at which level, if these three are the starters for the Captains. It's possible Allen could be held in Mahoning Valley until someone is promoted, and it's also possible Zimmer and/or Papi could go right to High-A Lynchburg, depending on how the spring shakes out. They'll both hopefully be there before the end of 2015. The way Bradley hit in Arizona, I'd jump him over Mahoning Valley and see how he does with Lake County, though again, there could be a roster pinch. Lucas should go to Mahoning Valley, as his first few weeks as a pro didn't scream "Rush him up!" and there are plenty of good catchers in the system.