Grady Sizemore was amazing. In his prime, he was easily one of the top 10 players in baseball. Watching him play now with the Phillies is such a tease, as that's not the Grady we knew.
There's good news though. The Indians have another dynamic young outfielder who is very similar to Grady. Bradley Zimmer, who LGT voted as the Tribe's 3rd best prospect, has five-tool potential, plays hard, and is ready to break out.
GRADY WAS GREAT BECAUSE OF HIS:
Never afraid to get dirty, Sizemore was loved for his diving catches and aggressiveness on the base paths. Zimmer is the same way.
"He's tough as nails, and he loves to play the game."
--Mike Roberts, Cotuit Kettleers head coach
Sizemore stole 115 bases between 2005-2008. Zimmer might not steal 40 bases a year, but easily has 20 steal potenial. He stole 12 in 210 plate appearances in his first year in the minors and had 21 his last year in college. Scouts say he has good instincts on the base paths, with the potential to be a plus runner. Zimmer was also considered one of the best college athletes in the draft last year.
Sizemore developed more power than most anticipated, topping 20+ HR's four straight seasons. Zimmer fits that profile almost exactly. He is a big kid, at 6'5", and that impressive frame lends itself to more power down the road. In those 210 plate appearances last year, Zimmer hit 6 HR's and slugged .492. Expect a floor of at least 15 HR with potential for more, just like Sizemore.
Zimmer has a strong arm, better than Sizemore's, but might not stick in center field. He's athletic enough to stay in center and played there last year in the minors, but scouts think he could turn into a plus right fielder, especially considering his arm. It's fair to say that he's not Grady yet defensively, but Zimmer is no slouch in the field.
Zimmer shares many similarities with Sizemore, including his hustle, speed, and power potential. Defensively, Zimmer can hold his own but has a ways to go to reach Sizemore's level.
The Tribe was lucky once to have a guy with such a broad skill base like Grady Sizemore's, and very possibly will be again with Bradley Zimmer. I can't wait to find out.