Washington Nationals 2015 Player Review: Ryan Zimmerman

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Before the 2015 season began, most people thought this could be the year that Ryan Zimmerman would be able to stay healthy and provide the Washington Nationals with some consistent production in the middle of the lineup. He was moving over to a new position as he went from third base to first base. While the fielding was one of the main strengths for Zimmerman this year, he was not able to stay on the field for enough games, which ended up hurting the Nats’ offense in the end.

For the season, the 31-year-old hit .249 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI’s, and had a .308 on-base percentage in 95 games. His 95 games was an improvement from the 61 games he played in 2014, but it was a plantar fasciitis injury early in the season and an oblique injury down the stretch, which eventually ended his season in mid September.

Early on in the season, Zimmerman had 33 RBI’s over the first couple of months, but he failed to hit over .240 in each of those months. After hitting 1-for-22 in the month of June, the team decided to put him on the disabled list because of the fasciitis injury. He would end up missing over a month of games because of that injury. Tyler Moore and Clint Robinson did an okay job filling in for him, but they could not replace Zimmerman’s production.

Then, on July 28, Zimmerman would return to the lineup and was one of the main contributors for an offense that had its extended struggles in the second half. Over his final 135 at-bats, Zimmerman hit .311 with 11 home runs, 39 RBI’s, and a .652 slugging percentage. Despite playing in only 39 games down the stretch, his 39 RBI’s in the second half were the most on the team and his 11 homers were third behind Ian Desmond (12) and Bryce Harper (16).

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During the month of September, Zimmerman was 12-for-26 with seven runs scored, three home runs, and ten RBI’s, but he played his final game on September 7 as his season was cut short due to a left oblique injury. You have to wonder if the Nats would have stayed in this race longer if Zimmerman was able to give this team 125-130 games of good offensive production.

Despite not playing in as many games, Zimmerman was one of the more clutch players on the team in terms of hitting with runners in scoring position. His 54 RBI’s in those spots was second on the team behind Harper (55). Most of those opportunities came because teams would pitch to him because of the success of Harper.

As I mentioned earlier, Zimmerman took on a new position this season as he went across the diamond to first base. That position change did not affect him much this season as he made just four errors the entire year. At least, the organization knows that they are set at first base for the next few years.

It was a rough 2015 for Zimmerman, but when he was healthy, he still put up some good numbers offensively as he continued to be one of the leaders on this team. As the 31-year-old heads into 2016, he will look to remain on the field and try to put up numbers similar to his 2012 season when he hit 25 home runs and drove in 95 RBI’s. His grade may be down for this year, but the Nats will need big production from him if they want to contend in 2016.

GRADE: B

Next: District Daily: Nats To Interview Ron Gardenhire

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