2013 Washington Nationals Review: Ryan Zimmerman


Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Ryan Zimmerman

Position: 3B

Stat Line:


2013 Expectations:

Ryan Zimmerman’s 2012 was a fabulous year for the third baseman. It wasn’t like his career year in 2009 but it was still a great season. Coming into 2013, he was supposed to be a leader production wise. 2012 ended badly after a great regular season for the Nats but everyone thought this would be the year the Nats broke open. To do that Ryan Zimmerman would have to be at the forefront of that movement.

At the plate you expect him to hit around .270 and have at least 25 doubles and 25 homers. Having Jayson Werth healthy along with Bryce Harper, Zimmerman would see a lot of pitches he could drive.  In the field Zimmerman is usually pretty solid and can get you a lot of outs.

The steamer on fangraphs projected Zimmerman to hit 26 doubles, 21 homers and to have a slash line of .278/.350/.471. That is a bit of a regression from 2012 but still very solid numbers for the 28 year old.

2013 Results: 

Zimmerman started out the season very slow. An injury didn’t help that as his April was cut short. Once he was back and healthy he was the player that most all Nats fans have grown to love. Getting better throughout the season was the main goal as the Nationals expected to do something big. Things didn’t turn out that way but Zimmerman did finish nicely in 2013.

His strikeout percentage went up from 18.1% in 2012 to 21%, but he did have a better walk percentage in 2013 than in 2012 so that is a good sign moving forward.

Looking at his isolated power it has also continued to come down over the past few seasons. This could be due to injury but Zimmerman is signed through 2019, which will be something that Rizzo will have to watch out for in the coming seasons. In just four seasons his isolated power has come down 43 points.

We can all tell that he isn’t the same player he was three or four years ago, but he is still a solid player. His slugging percentage was 23rd in the National League. While his on-base plus slugging was 24th. He is a middle of the pack power guy, that can give you great at-bats and draw walks.

Putting him in the middle of the order around Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth allowed him to see pitches and also draw plenty of walks.

His defense was a different story in 2013. It was absolutely atrocious. All throughout the season he was making errors and plenty of them. He had to put his arm in a different slot because of an injury and it caused his throws to sail on him from time to time. All in all he committed 21 errors while only turning 28 double plays. His 21 errors were third in the National League. His fielding percentage was below average in the league but his range was about league average.

His offensive year was above average, in a down year offensively throughout baseball. Injuries didn’t really hurt him at the plate which is a good thing moving forward. His numbers have come down in recent seasons but overall his 2013 was good. His 4.3 Win Probability Added was 6th best in the National League. That tells you that he can still get the job done at the plate, but will it continue?

2014 Outlook: 

It would be safe to assume that Zimmerman’s games played will once again go down because of nagging injuries. That shouldn’t hurt his production in any way. Sitting him more could end up helping him on both sides of the ball. Matt Williams will have to pay attention to that as the season moves forward.

With him getting less at-bats he will have less extra base hits, but I expect him to try to draw more walks than ever in 2014. His power is slowly declining so he knows he will have to find a way to get on base, there isn’t a better way than with the base on balls. His wRC+ should also increase in 2014. He has consistently done a great job of getting the job done at the plate when runners are on base.

Zimmerman should hit in the middle of the order and be a catalyst for Desmond and LaRoche. He won’t steal many bases but he does consistently run the bases well for a corner infielder. Look for Zimmerman to be the leader when he is on the field, to lead the Nats back to the playoffs and go after a World Series Title.

All Stats Courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference and Steamer Projections