Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Is There Any Hope That Jordan Zimmermann Brings Value In 2019?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Remember when Jordan Zimmermann turned a big season into a lucrative free agent contract?  It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he’s been a bitter disappointment in the three years since inking that deal, including a 4.52 ERA over 131.1 innings of work last season.

Is anyone going to still get excited by the name?  Obviously you shouldn’t, though those looking for a shred of value could point towards a 7.61 K/9 and 1.78 BB/9 in 2018 as reasons for optimism.

Even during his struggles he has continued to post strong control overall, so that mark shouldn’t come as a surprise.  The strikeouts are a bit of a different story, however.

Over the previous two seasons he had posted K/9 of 5.64 and 5.79.  Even last year’s spike is a rather pedestrian mark and a 9.1% SwStr% isn’t going to grab our attention.  While he did increase the usage of his slider, which represents his best swing and miss pitch, a 15.82% Whiff% doesn’t elicit much hope for continued success (or even more potential).

After dispelling that “positive”, what are we left?  A control artist who has continually missed time since signing with Detroit  and could have significant home run issues?  Just look at the HR/9 over the past three seasons:

  • 2016 – 1.20
  • 2017 – 1.63
  • 2018 – 1.92

With a 35.0% groundball rate it may not matter where he pitches, he’s going to be giving up a lot of long balls.

Just to put it all together, over the past two seasons he’s been hit extremely hard, with Hard% of 39.5% and 38.1%.  Last season he benefited from a .288 BABIP, so there’s just little hope.

Maybe there was a time that Zimmermann was a viable fantasy option, but even as a plug in or a streamer his time has come and gone.  Don’t waste the time considering him.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

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