ZIMMERMAN LAYING SOLID FOUNDATION
[April 27th] -- If, on opening day, your fairy God-mother had said to you, "With a wave of my magic wand, I can guarantee you that your rookie third-baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, would have these stats for 2006: .241 batting average, 143 hits, 30 doubles, a triple, 16 homers, 105 rbi's, 82 walks and 180 strikeouts" would you have said, "Go ahead, girl, wave that wand?" Probably.
That's a pretty good rookie season for a 21 year old kid who was just a year removed from college. Sure, the 180 k's are very high, but he's been learning with each and every one of them. His batting average would be low, but the 105 rbi's more than make up for that.
Twenty-one games into the 2006 season, that's exactly the pace Zimmerman is on. My guess is that he'll end up with a higher average, maybe .250 or .260, and a few less rbi's, perhaps 80 or so, but the rest of the numbers look about right.
Sure, he looks over-matched at times, but at other times he hits Billy Wagner fast balls for home runs. He's a work in progress. His defense, which was horrid this spring (seven errors), is once again his signature talent. He's already had a #3 and a #5 ESPN Web-Gem. That catch he made over-his-shoulder a few games ago is perhaps the finest play by a 3rd baseman going out that I've ever seen.
And he's twenty-one.
The kid is definantly as advertised: stud with the glove, solid with the bat. What does the future hold for Ryan Zimmerman? I think he's going to put up Chipper Jones type numbers for years to come, but with a glove more like that of Ken McMullen (hey youngins, Kenny McMullen was the second best defensive 3rd baseman in the A.L. during his years with the Senators. You know who the first was ..).
For all his faults, at least Jim Bowden didn't screw up the '05 draft.
Links to this post: