Jordan Zimmermann. J-Zim. The Double N. Mr Auburndale, WI himself comes back tonight to pitch for the Nats for the first time since his promising rookie year. This is like the Strasburg debut, only, 50% less exciting. But it is a big night for the team, Zimmermann is their future #2, a guy with real potential. Let’s do a quick refresh and look at his background.
The Nationals drafted him in 2007, as the second compensation pick for free agent Alfonso Soriano. That year he started 11 games in low-A, finishing 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA with 71K/18 BB in 53 IP. In 2008 he started 4 games in high-A, compiling a 1.65 ERA before being promoted to AA. There he pitched 106 2/3 innings, all as a starter, with 103 K/39 BB, compiling a 3.21 ERA. In January of 2009, Baseball America noted that in A+ and then AA he took major steps forward and, “emerged as the clear-cut top prospect in the organization.” Baseball Prospectus ranked him the team’s #1 prospect and said “he does nearly everything well, has a strong durable frame, and easy arm action” but didn’t see him as an ace.
He pitched well enough in the spring of 2009 to win the 5th starter spot, but started out in AAA until there was a need for the 5th guy. After one start in Syracuse he was called up, and made his major league debut on April 20th.