With the trade deadline less than a week away, the Cleveland Indians are promoting two of their top prospects to Triple-A Columbus.
Bradley Zimmer, the team’s No. 1 prospect, and Clint Frazier, the Tribe’s second-ranked prospect (according to MLB.com) made the jump from Akron late Sunday night, July 24, according to a report from milb.com.
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The timing of the promotions might raise some eyebrows due to the proximity to the trade deadline. Might the moves be a way for the Indians to showcase their top prospects against Triple-A talent in front of scouts? Not likely.
The probable reason behind the promotions is that Zimmer and Frazier each deserved to be called up to the next level, though Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com opines that the move won’t stop teams from asking Cleveland about the top prospects.
"“Of course, the shift to Triple-A likely will not prevent the prospects’ names from being tossed around in various trade rumors. Both Zimmer and Frazier could spark the interest of opposing teams who have pieces that the Indians covet.”"
Zimmer and Frazier have each proved their worth at Double-A Akron this season, as both players were named Eastern League All-Stars. Fraizer also represented the Tribe at the Future’s Game earlier this month. Prior to his promotion, Zimmer posted a .253/.371/.471 slash with 14 home runs, 20 doubles, six triples and 51 RBI. The left-handed hitting outfielder had also recorded 33 stolen bases.
Frazier’s numbers in Akron were similar to Zimmer. The 21-year-old outfielder slugged 13 home runs and 25 doubles and batted in 48 RBI to go along with .276/.359/.469 slash.
Hoynes also wrote that the timing of the promotion is nothing new, considering the Indians past moves with top prospects.
"“The timing of the promotions falls in line with how the Indians have operated with some of their top prospects in years past. Zimmer advanced to Akron from High-A Lynchburg in mid-July last season. Two years ago, shortstop Francisco Lindor relocated to Columbus from Akron in late July.”"
So while the reason for the move may be unclear, one thing is certain: Zimmer and Frazier will look to continue their strong seasons in Columbus.