30 Players in 30 Days: Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

 


080509-016_ryan_zimmerman.JPGIt is official. Zimmerman can now decorate his mantel with a Rawlings Gold Glove.

 

It was hardly a surprise but it was by no means a guarantee when the official announcement was made that he won the first Gold Glove of his career. It is always tough to speculate how players and managers will vote: reputation, performance, spectacular plays or fewest errors? Traditionally, reputation trumps numbers.

 

Zimmerman ranked among league leaders in total chances (MLB-best 459), total chances per 9.0 innings (second in NL, 3.09), assists (MLB-best 325) and putouts (third in NL, 117). For what it’s worth, he was the leading contributor to ESPN’s nightly Web Gems segment too–typically the top-five best, most acrobatic, spectacular defensive plays of the day. At the same time, he committed 17 errors and posted a .963 fielding percentage. Of the 17 errors, 13 were throwing and four were with the glove.

 

But as we’ve documented before, those superficial defensive stats only tell a fraction of the story. Zimmerman might as well be a black hole at third base, he has unrivaled range and sucks up everything hit in his direction.

 

Just a day after receiving his first Gold Glove award, Zimmerman’s mantel got a little more crowded when he was honored with his first Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger award. He provided it all season long at the plate and was recognized for it.

 

On May 9, the Nationals were clinging to a 1-0 lead in the top of the eighth in Arizona. Zimmerman was 0-for-3 and at the plate with his 26-game hit streak on the line. He didn’t waste any time extending it. He hammered the first pitch from Juan Gutierrez over the center field fence to give the Nats a 2-0 lead and extend the hit streak to 27-games. They won 2-1.

 

Zimmerman put up career numbers in 2009: a .292 average, 33 home runs, 106 RBI and 110 runs but there is one statistic that stands out. He cemented himself into Washington baseball history with a 30-game hit streak during the first month of the season. The streak started the second game of the season on April 8 and ended on May 13, with a 0-for-3, one-run, two-walk performance at San Francisco–not a terrible day at the park either. During the streak, he batted .382 (50-for-131) with 11 doubles, eight home runs, 26 RBI, 11 walks and 26 runs. It is the longest streak in Nationals history, longest streak for a third baseman since Royal’s Hall-of-Famer George Brett posted a 30-game hit streak in 1980 and third longest streak in DC baseball history behind the 33-game streak by Heinie Manush in 1933 and 31-game streak by Sam Rice in 1924. The hit streak propelled Zimmerman into the Mid-Summer Classic for the first time in his career.

 

The Nationals made sure to lock up the face of the franchise in 2009 and they did on April 20. Zimmerman is signed through 2013 but he doesn’t want to wait any longer to produce a winning ballclub. The 2010 Nationals will ride Zim’s glove and bat all season long.

 

Ryan Zimmerman Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

157

610

110

178

320

37

3

33

106

72

9

119

2

0

.292

.364

.525

.888

2 Comments

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