Bradley Zimmer took another step in his march toward the Majors on Friday when the Indians extended their top prospect a non-roster invitation to big league camp at Spring Training.
Cleveland also invited two other ranked outfielders -- Yandy Diaz (No. 10) and Greg Allen (No. 19) -- along with first baseman Nellie Rodriguez (No. 23), right-hander Josh Martin, left-hander Tyler Olson and middle infielders Ronny Rodriguez and Eric Stamets.
Zimmer, MLB.com's No. 25 overall prospect, played in six Cactus League games in 2015 and four last year but will open Spring Training with the Major League squad for the first time. Drafted 21st overall in 2014, he had a breakout campaign in 2015 -- his first full season -- by posting a .273/.368/.446 slash line with 16 homers and 44 stolen bases between Class A Advanced Lynchburg and Double-A Akron. The Indians later learned that Zimmer had been playing with a hairline fracture in his foot for nearly two months.
Healthy last year, the University of San Francisco product totaled 46 extra-base hits and 38 steals while batting .250/.365/.425 in 130 games, 93 with Akron and 37 with Triple-A Columbus. He continued his season in the Arizona Fall League, where he won the Bowman Hitting Challenge and led the circuit in runs scored (25) and walks (19) while tying for second with four homers.
Diaz is wrapping up a successful stint in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he ranked second in batting (.371) and on-base percentage (.451) while totaling 14 extra-base hits and 24 runs scored in 40 games. The 25-year-old Cuban was named International League Rookie of the Year after putting up a .325/.399/.461 slash line with seven homers, 44 RBIs and 53 runs scored in 95 games with Columbus. He started the 2016 season with Double-A Akron and hit .286 with two homers, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 26 contests.
Allen, 23, led all Minor Leaguers with 119 runs scored and tied for fifth with 45 stolen bases, 38 with Lynchburg and seven following a promotion to Akron. Overall, the 2014 sixth-round pick hit .295/.416/.413 with seven homers, seven triples, 23 doubles and 44 RBIs in 129 games.