There is no arguing that 2012 has been a major disappointment for Ryan Zimmerman, marred by injury and inability. However, finally showing signs of life, can we consider him a good buy for the remainder of the season or should we be hesitant to buy in?
Let’s take a look:
243 At Bats
.235 Batting Average (57 Hits)
5 Home Runs
3 Stolen Bases
.297 On Base Percentage
.350 Slugging Percentage
.268 Batting Average on Balls in Play
The biggest problem when we look at Zimmerman is his inability to hit the ball with consistent authority. Through Wednesday he had posted a line drive rate of 15.9%, well below his career mark of 18.7%. However, before we label it a foregone conclusion that he rebounds keep in mind that he posted a 15.7% mark a year ago and is at 14.8% in June.
I would love to be able to say that he is a lock to improve on his .268 BABIP, but it is impossible to do so. Unless he starts hitting the ball with more consistency and not burying it into the ground (at 51.8% this would be the second consecutive year with a ground ball rate above 50%), he could continue to struggle in the average department.
He also has seen his HR/FB rate drop for the fourth consecutive season:
- 2009 – 15.9%
- 2010 – 14.0%
- 2011 – 10.9%
- 2012 – 7.9%
Zimmerman has been dealing with shoulder problems this season and perhaps a weekend cortisone shot has helped correct the problem. That said, unless we see a longer stretch of good from him it is going to be hard to declare him a must own for the remainder of the season.
If the shoulder is the problem one cortisone shot may be a temporary fix, but may not be the answer for the entire season. With his recent hot streak other owners in your league may think now is the time to buy. If you can get full value for him and have an alternative at third base, I would have to consider it it.