Ranking the 2016 NL East: First Basemen
No. 3 Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)
Ryan Zimmerman is one of those players who can be among the best in the game when he’s at his best, and one of the worst when he’s not. And when he’s not at his best, it’s usually for one reason: injuries.
Injuries have hampered Zimmerman throughout his career, forcing him to miss significant time on the disabled list in each of the last two seasons. Zimmerman played in just 95 games last season and 61 games in 2014.
Last season the veteran was dealing with plantar fasciitis all year long. Things were supposed to be different for Zimmerman in 2015 since his move to first base removed nearly all workload from his right shoulder, which is where most of his injuries have stemmed from in the last few years. But the foot injury kept him out for most of the season, and his absence was greatly felt by the Nationals’ lineup.
While Zimmerman has been injury prone in recent years, there’s no doubt he can be extremely productive when he’s healthy. The first baseman hit .269 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs last season. Averaged out over 150 games, Zimmerman’s numbers would’ve translated to 25 home runs with 115 RBIs.
At 31 years old, Zimmerman can still be a very productive part of Nationals’ lineup. A good year from Zimmerman in 2016 could be crucial for the Nationals to return to the postseason for October, and it might even help Bryce Harper have an even better season at the plate. One thing’s for certain, Zimmerman has to stay healthy for any of that to happen.
Next: No. 2