Ryan Zimmerman is often viewed as one of the better third baseman in the game, though he has been labeled with the “injury” tag. People view him as an injury risk, but in reality he has played in over 140 games in three of the past five seasons and five of the past seven. Maybe he is forced onto the DL for two weeks, but how much more can we really ask from a player in this day and age?
(Of course he had offseason shoulder surgery on, which doesn’t help my argument. That said, the early talk is that it will not have an effect on him by the time the real games roll around.)
Last season brought something new to Zimmerman as it was a tale of two halves:
- First Half – .243 with 8 HR, 40 RBI and 42 R
- Second Half – .319 with 17 HR, 55 RBI and 51 R
At the end of the day the numbers were right where we would expect them to be, it’s just the way he got there that may frustrate owners. As we would expect, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
For instance, his first half BABIP was .270, compared to .356 in the second half. Overall the number was .313, right along the lines of his .318 career mark.
His HR/FB prior to the All-Star Break was 11.1%, though it rose to 20.2% after it. The net number was 16.0%. Considering he has been at 14.0% or better in three of the past four seasons, that’s probably about where we would expect him to have been.
Over the course of his career he has not been a predominant second half player, though he has posted a better average (.270 vs .305). The power is nearly identical and would anyone complain about a .270 hitting third baseman with pop?
So what’s the moral of this story? Basically, it’s not to read anything into his splits from last season. In the three seasons since 2009 where he has played at least 140 games he has:
- Hit at least 25 HR each year
- Hit .282 or better each year (including a .307 mark in 2010)
- Driven in at least 85 RBI
- Scored at least 85 R
Could he get hurt? Of course, but that risk is there for any player. In Zimmerman we know that the talent is there, so we shouldn’t shy away for him due to perception.
What are your thoughts of Zimmerman? Is he a player you think will produce? Why or why not?
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