Why Bradley Zimmer is the right fit for the Cleveland Indians
During his rookie season in 2017, Bradley Zimmer was seen as the future star for the Cleveland Indians. In 2021, he’s finally realizing his potential with the team. In the past few years, he has faced a slew of injuries but now, he’s healthy and ready to help the team achieve more success.
The question of ‘When will he be good?’ has been answered in the 2021 MLB season. He has faced some arduous challenges over the years from a rib issue to shoulder injuries. In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he was sidelined with these injuries which forced him to wait for an opportunity to bounce back.
Even when he made a return during that 2019 season, he was not like himself. People were disappointed with what they saw including the coaching staff led by Terry Francona. However, hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo made sure to assure people that Zimmer will get back to full shape and become a better player than ever before.
Patience was the key to Zimmer’s success today
After a four-year wait, the Indians finally have their star man. Zimmer has turned into the number one guy for the Indians which is something that they have wanted since 2017. Francona was worried about Zimmer’s batting stance when he returned in 2019 but that has changed now. Zimmer is comfortable now and he’s ready to prove everyone wrong.
Van Burkleo talked about how he always believed in Zimmer and why 2021 is not a surprise for him. The hitting coach said, ‘The power has always been there. but if you’re late, it doesn’t show up. There are more ground balls. There’s more fight. There’s more rolling over’.
While Zimmer is not the perfect player due to his struggles with his strikeout rate, the Indians still have solid upside with this team. He is 28 years of age which means he is in his physical prime. He is set to be a star for Cleveland as long as he keeps improving.
Zimmer will be the star for Cleveland’s future
While he is an older player, Zimmer still has solid long-term potential. It will be hard to become a better team but Cleveland still has the potential. They are near the top of AL Central but Zimmer can lead them to the promised land.
Van Burkleo said, ‘I always preach, the good players put confidence ahead of success. And when you’re not having success, it’s hard to do. But now that he’s having success and he’s feeling the swing, he knows what he’s looking for, as far as the feel, and he’s able to obtain it’.
It will be fun to see how the Indians work out with Zimmer as the centrepiece because, in 2021, it has been exciting.
Words: Cholo Martin