Zim wins first Gold Glove
Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman today was named the recipient of the 2009 National League Rawlings Gold Glove for third basemen. The defensive citation is the first of Zimmerman’s career.
“Winning the Rawlings Gold Glove has always been important to me, as I take a lot of pride in my defense,” Zimmerman said. “When I was drafted by the Nationals, I was known as a defensive player first and there was a belief that my bat would mature with time and experience. But the core of my game has always been defense, so today is a special day.”
Zimmerman led all National League third basemen this season in total chances (MLB-best 459), assists (MLB-high 325), range factor per game (2.97) and games started (153). At 18.1, Zimmerman also paced NL third basemen in Ultimate Zone Rating, a figure that blends the number of runs above or below average a fielder is in three categories: range runs, double play runs and error runs combined. Zimmerman’s 18.1 rating ranked third in baseball among ALL position players at any of the nine positions.
Last month, ESPN named Zimmerman as its 2009 Web Gem Champion after he amassed 19 Web Gems and 61 Web Gem points during the 2009 campaign.
Zimmerman is only the second Washington-based Big Leaguer to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove. Senators catcher Earl Battey earned the first of his three career Gold Gloves in 1960, his lone season in Washington. Rawlings established the Gold Glove in 1957 to reward defensive excellence.