Indians sign first-round pick Zimmer
University of San Francisco outfielder taken 21st overall in Draft
CLEVELAND -- Two weeks ago, Bradley Zimmer sat on his couch while surrounded by family members, watching as the Indians made him their first-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
As they did, he smiled -- a big, goofy, honest smile -- alongside his brother, Kyle Zimmer, who was the fifth overall pick by the Royals in the 2012 Draft.
"It was pretty awesome having my friends, my family, everyone who's watched me from day one since I started playing baseball there to support me," Zimmer said. "It was a pretty surreal moment."
On Monday, Zimmer was touring the facilities at Progressive Field with the same smile, having just agreed to terms on a deal that included a $1.9 million signing bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. He joins fellow Day 1 draftees Justus Sheffield and Grant Hockin, along with third-round pick Bobby Bradley, as one of four top Indians Draft picks to sign with the team this week.
"It's a dream come true," Zimmer said. "I'm sure I can speak for all of us walking through there, putting on the hat the first time, seeing the guys out there. Something that we've been looking forward to since the first day we could play baseball."
An outfielder out of the University of San Francisco, Zimmer was taken with the 21st overall pick after he was ranked the 10th-best prospect in this year's Draft class by MLB.com.
A left-handed hitter measuring 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, he hit .368 with seven triples and seven home runs as a junior while adding 21 stolen bases to his resume and projects as a center fielder at the Major League level.
"It's the combination of tools that are really exciting with Bradley," Indians director of amateur scouting Brad Grant said. "[He's] a plus runner, a chance for a plus center fielder, plus arm and then just an advanced feel to hit. Despite the thin athletic frame, there's power in the bat as well. [He's] an exciting player that brings a lot of tools to the table."
The Chicago Cubs drafted Zimmer in the 23rd round coming out of high school in 2011, but he opted not to sign and instead followed his brother Kyle to San Francisco.
Zimmer will head to Youngstown on Wednesday to begin his professional career with short-season Class A Mahoning Valley.
"It's starting to sink in," Zimmer said. "Being here has been very special, and I'm looking forward to competing."
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.