What’s Left for Zimmerman

January 26, 2010

Last year was a big year for the Nats’ third baseman. Ryan Zimmerman had by far his best year at the plate, hitting .292/.364/.525 with 33 home runs. He finished 6th in the majors in OPS for his position, behind Sandoval, Reynolds, ARod, Michael Young and Longoria. Pretty good company there. He also, you may recall, managed a 30 game hit streak.

As for his fielding, if you think he looked good in 2009, well, your eyes do not deceive you. In terms of what Fangraphs lists as qualified players, he finished the season with an UZR/150 of 20.1, ranking him second among all 3B behind Beltre. It also put him 4th among all fielders. On top of all that, he turned 25 at the end of the season. That is an age, in baseball, where players are just starting to come into their own. In other words, he may still be getting better.

Fangraphs lists him 8th on the list for WAR – wins above replacement – in 2009. That basically means he was the 8th best position player, at least according to one hitting and fielding combined measurement, in the entire league. #1 on the list was Zobrist, who had a better hitting season than Zimmerman and started all over the field, including 89 games as a middle infielder. Also on that list are the obvious names – Pujols, Mauer, Utley, Jeter, Hanley and Longoria. That’s it. Those are the guys ahead of him.

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