Top Cleveland Indians prospects Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer will both start the season playing for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, Cleveland.com's Zack Meisel confirmed on Twitter today. Not only will this mean both players will be facing the toughest competition level in the minors, but they will also be very easily watchable for anyone with an MiLB.tv subscription.
The move is no surprise for Zimmer, who played in 49 games for the RubberDucks last season. Although he looked a bit overwhelmed at times -- he finished with a career-low .219/.313/.374 slash (102 wRC+) -- he should adjust with some more time this season. Depending on how quickly he does adjust, he could see some time in Triple-A at some point, making 2017 a very realistic timetable for a debut.
This will be Clint Frazier's first time playing in Double-A, having started the 2015 season in High-A where he remained all year long. While playing for the Lynchburg Hillcats, Frazier slashed .285/.377/.465 (147 wRC+) with 16 home runs. His strikeout woes looked to be getting fixed as well, as he struck out only 21.3 percent of the time, closer to what would be expected out of a league-average player. He also walked in a career-high 11.6 percent of his at-bats. Frazier also played in the Arizona Fall League last fall where he hit three home runs in 22 games. His strikeout numbers ballooned back up while playing in the AFL, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts his incredible bat speed and aggressiveness to Double-A pitching.
Indians beat reporter T.J. Zuppe also shared the entire RubberDucks roster for the start of the 2016 season, which includes several top and intriguing prospects.
Other prospects who made our own Top 25 prospects list starting the season in Akron include Shawn Morimando, Adam Plutko, Rob Kaminsky, Yandy Diaz, and Nelson Rodriguez. Pitcher JP Feyereisen, who has looked impressive every step of the way so far, will also start the season in Double-A.
The best news for Indians fans is the fact that all these players will now be easily watchable on MiLB.tv. You may not get to see every game, at least until they reach Triple-A, but it will be much easier than trying to find a Lynchburg Hillcats game on the streaming service.