There was little doubt during spring training that Zimmermann was big league ready. Armed with four good pitches and fantastic control Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals set out to make a name for themselves in the ultra competitive National League East Division. So far that hasn't exactly panned out.
A 2-3, 5.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 54 K, 14 BB, 52 IP is nothing to scoff at but the ERA and WHIP don't lend themselves kindly to fantasy owners. But that's were a tremendous oversite amongst beginners and veterans alike exsists. Focusing on surface stats instead of skills can lead to a player over looking a talented youngster because of a high ERA or a ton of strike outs (for hitters)
In this case Zimmermann is still displaying great dominancing in striking out more then a batter an inning (9.35 K/9) and still has good control (2.42 BB/9), leaving him with a tremendous commmad ratio of 3.71 K/ 1 BB.
A quick look at his minor league numbers and his XERA and FIP will tell us that he's a completely different pitcher.
2007- 4-2, 62 K, 16 BB, 2.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 11.39 K/9, 2.94 BB/9, 3.88 K/BB
2008- 10-3, 134 K, 47 BB, 2.88 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 9 K/9, 3.15 BB/9, 2.85 K/BB
2009- 0-0, 4 K, 1 BB, 5.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 6.95 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, 4 K/BB2009- 2-3, 54 K, 14 BB, 5.71 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 9.35 K/9, 2.42 BB.9, 3.71 K/BB
You can easily see from his minor league numbers (2007- 2009) that his kid is a bona-fide front line starter. He has always possessed great command and fantastic control to go along with a very dominant pedigree. So why are his numbers so bad this year?
1- Expected ERA and FIP- For those that read you'll know that I turn to these stats are indicators of a pitchers true talents, and it's no different here. The XERA and FIP give two vastly different numbers. Zimmermann's FIP is a very solid 3.79 more line of what many were expecting this season his XERA isn't quiet as attainable sitting at 1.74. Thanks in large part to his command and dominance.
2- The Long Ball- Having already given up seven home runs he's hurt himself a bit. He's currently on pace to surrender 21 big flies which will only keep his ERA and WHIP at the bottom of the barrel. An improvement is definately in order as he continues to get familiar with the league. Others will argue it will rise as the leagues get familiar to Jordan.
3- Washington Nationals- The Nationals as a team are just horrendous. They lead the league in errors with 52, resulting runs and hits. They also rank dead last in team ERA, WHIP,Saves, BB/9, H/9 and OBA. None of which are beneficial to a young hurler. It's disheartening when you hand over the ball after a solid 6 inning outting knowing that the pen won't be able to keep the game close.
If you're an owner of a keeper team and you've already mailed this season in, then Jordan Zimmermann would definately be a guy to target. After all the Nationals rotation can't be all bad for that long can it? The potential arrival of college phenom Steven Strasberg and the maturation of Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler gives Nationals fans reason for hope in the near future.