The early leader in the 2012 home run race, Bradley Zimmmer passed up a shot at the MLB draft in 2011, and the Crabs are reaping the benefits.
By Tina Naderi
When people describe Bradley Zimmer the first two words that come out of their mouths are he’s big and fast. An unfortunate combination of words if you were describing, say, a ballerina. Luckily for Zimmer and Crabs’ fans, he’s the promising right fielder for the 2012 team and someone with a bright career ahead of him.
Zimmer grew up on the southern California coast, in San Diego, where he began to play baseball “as soon as [he] could swing a bat in the backyard.” He began to play tee ball at four years-old and from there began to progress into the player he is today.
And he became a great player. In fact, Zimmer had the opportunity to enter the Major League Baseball draft straight out of high school in 2011, however, he chose to forgo it and chose to go to college at the University of San Francisco instead.
"I felt like I had a great opportunity to play for a great D-I team., he said.
Zimmer maintains that he made the right decision, saying he didn’t want to miss out on the college experience. In addition, he also liked the fact that by joining the USF baseball team he would join his older brother, Kyle, on the roster.
Right now Zimmer is working on his game playing for the Humboldt Crabs as one of their newest outfielders, and already he’s made a strong impression with the coaching staff.
Matt Nutter, manager of the Crabs, says he believes that Zimmer will bring a lot of excitement to the fans.
"[He’s an] athletic player– great speed. [I] think he can hit some balls in the outfield where a lot of players wouldn’t. I expect great things out of him."
Head coach Robin Guiver has a harder time placing his expectations, however, sees someone with dedication and good work ethics in Zimmer. Guiver believes that if Zimmer puts in enough reps and gets in more more at bats he will do “great stuff for [the team] this summer."
"[He has a] strong arm on him; [he] could play center or right field,[maybe] left field too, but right field is where you want your strongest arm [and] he’s got the best arm out of the outfielders we have right now.”
Teammate Spencer Duggan shares the same sentiment in Zimmer’s throwing arm strength, calling it a "man cannon."
"He’s an exciting player to watch… You never know if he’s going to lay down a bunt or hit a home run."
Zimmer is very focused on making sure he does what he can to improve himself as a ballplayer. He likes to explore Arcata, but mainly he hits the HSU weight room and runs on his free time to ensure he’s in the best shape possible for the season.
Overall, Zimmer has confidence in his abilities as a player, but would like to make some small adjustments.
"One thing that I would like to change is [to have] a better approach at the plate at all times," he said. "When I’m behind in the count, make sure I stand my approach and stop swinging at balls."
Zimmer still holds aspirations to enter the MLB draft eventually, but for now is studying communications as USF. Both Nutter and Guiver believe that Zimmer is a multifaceted player who, with practice, can become a real threat of a ball player. As Guiver put it, “He’s got all the talent you need to play the game for a long time.”