Name: Bijan Rademacher, OF
Age: 23 (6/15/1991)
Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, High A (111 G, .281/.363/.448, 10 HR, 56 RBI)
Prior to Cubs
Rademacher made a name for himself with a 90 mph fastball at a Perfect Game event in 2009 as a lefty and then threw 86 as a right-hander. Playing right field and pitching, he was named the Century League MVP, hitting .435/.505/.835 with 25 runs and 33 RBI as a senior at Canyon High School in California. He enrolled at Cal-State Fullerton in 2011 but transferred to Orange Coast Junior College. He played 43 games and hit .349, with 7 HR, 49 RBI, 31 R, and 9 SB. The lefty also earned four saves and committed to Oral Roberts before the Cubs came calling in the 13th round.
Rademacher made his pro debut with Mesa in the Arizona Rookie League on June 25, going 1-4 with a double against the Indians. He only lasted two more games in Mesa before being promoted to Boise but launched his first pro homer before leaving town. Rademacher took the Northwest League by storm with a four-hit game his second day in NWL and added a pair of three-hit games. In 14 games at Boise, the California native went 21-53 (.396) with six doubles, one homer and eight RBI. Rademacher didn’t have much time to get use to the surroundings at Boise before the Cubs sent the outfielder to Peoria to finish the year. He played in 35 games in the Midwest League, hitting .221/.280/.295. Rademacher turned in an All-Star performance in his return to the Midwest League in 2013, hitting .303/.374/.378 in 55 games. Rademacher had a short stint on the disabled list with a knee injury in late May and returned to action on June 6. He also took the mound in three “mop-up” performances and didn’t allow an earned run in three innings. He was promoted to Daytona and got 145 at-bats in 42 games, hitting .276/.338/.407 with two homers and 20 RBI. He earned a championship ring with the D-Cubs.
Rademacher broke spring training with Daytona, spent the entire season in the Florida State League, and led all regulars with a .448 slugging percentage. With only six homers in his first 500 plus at-bats, the left-hander knocked 10 balls out of the park, all to right field, but did show gap power to all fields with six triples and 22 doubles. Earning FSL all-star honors and finishing runner-up in the home run derby, he ended with a slash of .281/.363/.448 in 384 at-bats with 56 RBI and 58 runs. Not a speed demon (caught stealing 8 times), Rademacher makes up for his average speed with good base running instincts. Making 97 starts in the outfield (55 in left), Rademacher has the arm to play right but still needs to improve his defense, getting charged with 11 errors. The 23-year-old got some national recognition in the Arizona Fall League as he made the most of his taxi squad appearances, hitting .350/.404/.525 with 9 RBI, 11 R and 4 SB in 40 at-bats (11 games).
To make it to the majors, Rademacher will need to put up offensive numbers and continue to fine tune his defense in AA and AAA over the next two seasons but has the work ethic and tools to get the job done. He projects as a fourth and fifth outfielder and if he can develop his talents, could provide the Cubs a left-handed bat off the bench. Rademacher should patrol both corner outfield spots at Smokies Park in AA to start the season. He’s Rule 5 eligible at the end of the season and its not likely he would added to the Cubs 40-man roster.