Name: Bijan Rademacher
Age: 24 (6/15/1991)
How Acquired: Drafted in the 13th round 2012, # 404 overall, out of Orange Coast Junior College. Scouted by Denny Henderson.
Status: Rule 5 eligible for second time after 2016 season
For me, Bijan Rademacher doesn’t do anything great, he just does everything really well, and he’s consistent. Throw in all the “little things’ that help win baseball games, and you have a player with a great work ethic with the potential to be a platoon outfielder in the majors.
Rademacher grabbed the spotlight as a prep, throwing 91 as a lefty at a Perfect Game event and then turn around and hit the gun in the upper 80s as a right-hander. After starring at Canyon High School in California. he enrolled at Cal-State Fullerton in 2011 but transferred to Orange Coast Junior College. He only played in 43 college games before the Cubs came calling, hitting .349 with 7 HR and 49 RBI while earning four saves.
Drafted as an outfielder, Rademacher made his debut in Mesa and before the season was over, spent time at Boise and 35 games in the Midwest League for Peoria. Tabbed for Kane County to start 2013, Rademacher earned all-star honors with a slash of .303/.374/.378 and was promoted to Daytona, helping the D-Cubs to a FSL title while hitting .276/.338/.407 in 42 games.
Rademacher’s name started appearing on the Cubs Top 30 lists in 2014 after a solid season in the Florida State League and after his performance in the Arizona Fall League as a taxi player. Batting .281/.363/.448 with 10 HR and 56 RBI for Daytona, Rademacher capped off the campaign batting .350/.404/.525 with 9 RBI, 11 R and 4 SB in 40 at-bats (11 games). In the AFL.
Unfortunately for the California native, his 2015 season will be remembered for the violent collision he had with fellow Smokie Albert Almora in late May that landed him on the DL for a week. However after a rough start, Rademacher got stronger as the season progressed, hitting .285/.405/.398 in the final 56 games that included an eight-game hit in July. He produced career bests with a 15.5 walk percentage and 13.9 K% with more walks (67) than strikeouts (60). However the good plate discipline didn’t produce better power numbers for the lefty, with only four homers and 19 doubles in a hitter’s friendly Smokies Park. He finished the year with a slash of .261/.379/.370 and logged over 830 innings between right (60 games) and left (39), recording five assists.
Tools and 2016 Outlook
Rademacher continues to improve in the outfield with the more experience, and his strong, accurate arm help his value as a good defender. While he may never show consistent power, he displays a good approach at the plate and grinds out his at-bats. Touted for his work ethic, Rademacher has average speed but his good baseball instincts make him a plus runner on the bases. He heads to spring training battling for a roster spot in AAA as he looks to make another move up the organizational ladder. Depending on what happens at the big league level and how many of the recent minor league additions are assigned to Iowa, Rademacher may be back in AA to start the season but he should reach Iowa by season’s end.