Indians LHP Brady Aiken Spotted Working Out At Driveline Baseball
A year ago, the Kansas City Royals encouraged righthander Kyle Zimmer to head to Driveline Baseball's training facility in Kent, Wash. The idea was that instead of trying to turn around his injury-plagued career by pitching in games, he could spend the summer working on improving his strength, health and stuff with the hope he'd be able to pitch more effectively in 2019.
So far, that plan has paid off. While Zimmer has not been particularly effective so far this year, he has made his MLB debut and has shown the velocity and durability that was lacking over the previous five seasons.
Now there appears to be another first-round pick working out at Driveline during the season. Indians lefthander Brady Aiken appeared on Driveline Baseball's Instagram story yesterday. It appeared that he was doing some light throwing in the short clip.
It makes sense that the Indians and Aiken would head down the same path as what Zimmer and the Royals did last season. The No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, Aiken did not sign with the Astros that season because of a dispute over his medical report. He ended up injuring his elbow in his first appearance the following spring and was drafted by the Indians in the first round while he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery.
Since returning, he's struggled to pitch at anywhere close to the 92-96 mph velocities he showed in high school. As a pro, he's generally sat in the high-80s. After a mediocre season in low Class A Lake County in 2017, he did not pitch in an official game in 2018. This year, he returned to Lake County for two very brief and ineffective outings. He walked six while recording two outs.
Now he's headed to Driveline Baseball to try to regain some of the form that twice made him a first-round pick. Requests for comments to Driveline Baseball and the Cleveland Indians were not immediately returned. Baseball America will update the story if we hear further confirmation from either Driveline or the team.