Jordan Zimmermann, or as some are now calling him 'Jay-Z,' has certainly been the toast of the Nationals spring training camp. He was welcomed into Viera with open arms and hearts as he was named by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus as the teams best prospect and ace of the future. Since then he has showed that he may not just be the future, but the present.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Initial projections had Zimmermann pitching the first half of the year in AAA to tune up and make sure he was ready for the jump to Washington. But as he has seemed to do his entire young career, Zimmermann disagreed. The young righty has instead been absolutely dominant, pitching 12 innings without allowing an earned run.
At this point it is hard to imagine Zimmermann not earning the number four or five spot in the Nats rotation to begin 2009. Experts had him as a mid-season call up on March 1st, but less than a month later some are considering him a serious Rookie of the Year candidate. There is always reason to be speculative of spring training performance, but if you can put any stock in them, Zimmermann is arguably the best pitcher in Florida right now.
Where Zimmerman Stands On The Spring League Leaderboard:
-Tied for the lead with Micah Owings with 16 K's, has pitched two less innings and has allowed two less hits than Owings
-Has pitched the most scoreless innings in baseball, 12.1
-Among pitchers with 12 or more innings pitched, he has the second lowest WHIP with 0.65
-Among pitchers with 12 or more innings pitched, he has the lowest opponent OBP with .178
-Among pitchers with 12 or more innings pitched, he has the highest K/9 ratio with 11.68
-Among pitchers with 12 or more innings pitched, he has the lowest H/9 ratio with 4.38
Scouts have never been overwhelmingly high on Zimmermann. In fact my first impression upon seeing our ace of the future was not exactly positive. He looks small on the mound with a supposive 6'1" frame, and his delivery looks more like a middle reliever than a dominant starter. Using the eye test alone, it's no surprise that it is hard for scouts to get high on him.
Keep in mind, thats the same eye test that has given Daniel Cabrerra a career.
Zimmermann's numbers however can't be disputed by any scout. His entire rise through the minors has been filled by surprise performance after surprise performance. Look for Zimmermann to have his struggles, but expect him to have a solid and full rookie year.
Posted by Yard Yoder at 7:10 AM