Overlooked But Not Undervalued: Bijan Rademacher

Welcome to Overlooked But Not Undervalued, a series in which we plan to give readers a closer look at Chicago Cubs minor leaguers who don’t usually get much coverage on prospect sites. Each week we’ll fill you in with #NotAScout knowledge on players you’ve (probably) never thought twice about before but will (hopefully) come out as irrationally interested in as we are. To be clear, this is not a scouting report; we leave those to the savvy members of the Prospect Team over at the main site. Today’s player is:

Name: Bijan Rademacher

Position: Outfielder

Bats/Throws/DOB: L/L/6-15-1991

Bijan Rademacher was part of Theo Epstein’s first draft class back in 2012, coming on board in the 13th round out of Orange Coast College in California. Over his four-year career as a professional, Rademacher has compiled a batting line of .277/.360/.403 over 1,400 plate appearances, most recently at the Double-A level. He won the Florida State League title with the Daytona Cubs in 2014, contributing 38 extra-base hits and an .811 OPS to that club’s run to the championship.

Though he’s never been the star of his club, fans of the Cubs and Smokies in Daytona, Florida and Kodak, Tennessee would tell you that when the studs of the lineup faltered, Rademacher put the team on his back and led them to victory.   

Why Is He Overlooked:

Rademacher is an overlooked player in the Cubs system because he is viewed as more of a tweener outfielder, meaning he can’t cover enough ground to play center field nor hit for enough power to warrant a corner outfield spot. As an older player with college experience, it was almost expected that he’d handle the lower levels of the minor leagues with grace, but strikeout and walk rates of 10 and 16 percent respectively are indicative of dominance at just about any level.

Utility to MLB club:

Productive fourth outfielders are a rare commodity in baseball, mostly because if they can hit then at all then they usually get a job starting somewhere and aren’t fourth outfielders anyway. As it is, though, a fourth outfielder role is Rademacher’s ticket to the Show. As a left-handed hitter, Rademacher will have a platoon advantage against the majority of pitchers. His disciplined approach will result in professional plate appearances late in games, and he has shown he has enough pop in his bat for the occasional pinch-hit knock.

Though he’s no center fielder, Rademacher can fill in for a hulking corner outfielder during the late innings and provide a respectable glove. Any and every base runner trying to hustle an extra bag should beware of Rademacher’s left arm in the outfield. It is strong, accurate, and takes no prisoners.

Interesting Tidbits:

  • Rademacher was the runner up in the 2014 Florida State League homerun derby. Though he ultimately lost to Minnesota Twins prospect Adam Brett Walker II – who slugged 25 homeruns for Fort Myers that summer– Rademacher displayed his raw power. Walker won 35 points to 23.
  • While in college, Rademacher was scouted for the strength in his left arm as a pitcher. Though he is only six feet tall, Rademacher’s strong frame and arm produced velocities in the mid 90s off the mound.
  • Rademacher is ambidextrous. His fastball was clocked at 88 MPH from the right and 95 from the left. “[If] I had to pick one spot that separates me from another outfielder, I would say arm strength and arm accuracy.”
  • Tom U of The CCO tells a story of Rademacher tossing baseballs from the outfield to kids in the stands prior to a game. Rademacher threw some of those balls out of the stadium.

So, you as interested as I am yet?

Lead photo courtesy Rick Scuteri—USA Today Sports.

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