By Phil Dailey
Kyle and Bradley Zimmer started playing baseball together as far back as they can both remember. Next season, the two look forward to reuniting on the diamond at the University of San Francisco. But for Bradley, there may be one big reason why he doesn’t make good on his scholarship to play for the Dons.
The Major League Baseball Draft is June 1 and Bradley has been targeted by many MLB teams to play professionally right out of high school.
Last week, Bradley had 12 MLB scouts in town to watch him in a private session and he recently had the San Diego Padres’ scout at his house.
“He’s got a lot of ability, he’s got good size,” said Gary Frank, now in his eighth season as the head coach at La Jolla High. “When you hear about the five-tool athletes, Bradley fits that bill. He’s got the arm strength, he’s got the speed, he can hit, he can hit for power and he play defense. He’s got everything they are looking for.”
Bradley, who will graduate later this year, currently leads La Jolla High in just about every offensive statistic, including batting average (.452), RBI (26) and triples (5).
Kyle, who graduated in 2009 from La Jolla High, is currently one of USF’s top pitchers. He leads the team in strikeouts for the West Coast Conference’s first-place team. After the college season, he will play in the prestigious Cap Cod League, a league that boasts some of America’s top college players and is a stepping stone to the minor leagues.
He is also a draft prospect, but is not eligible for the draft until after the 2012 college season. Once a college baseball player enters college, he can not be drafted until after his junior season.
Kyle will be in town this weekend as the Dons play a three-game set with the University of San Diego and will pitch Saturday’s game against the Toreros.
“It’s gonna be cool to pitch down there in front of some friends from hometown and my parents will be there so it’s going to be kinda nice,” said Kyle, who has four solid pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball that tops out at 94 mph.
The two come from an athletic family as well. Their father, Eric, who is an anesthesiologist, was a baseball player at UCSD and their mother, Cathy, who is a counselor at La Jolla High, ran track at San Diego State.
Both Zimmer boys value education, which for Bradley, is one reason why he wants to play in college. He knows that if not drafted high enough, it might not be worth it to him to miss out on his education.
“I feel like I would be missing a chapter in my life,” Bradley said. “I have such a good offer there, my brother is there and I would love to play with him again.”
The higher a player is drafted, the more money he can get with a contract and a signing bonus. Bradley is not sure where he will get drafted, but he thinks somewhere in the first 10 rounds.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t get to share the field like we did back in the day,” Kyle said, “but I want whatever is really best for him ‘cause I know he’s got the skills to take him as far as he can go. If somebody is going to offer life-changing money, I would definitely say go ahead and take it.”