Ryan Zimmerman, 2009
Stats: 157 games, .292/.364/.525, .888 OPS, 178 hits, 37 doubles, 33 home runs, 110 runs scored, 106 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, 72 walks, and 119 strikeouts
Awards: All-Star, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, 25th in MVP voting
"“I tried to keep it a secret for as long as I could. It was fun, though. I enjoyed it. It was a fun ride. I’m not relieved that it’s over because I would have liked to do it as long as I can.” – Ryan Zimmerman on losing his 30-game hitting streak, 2009 (h/t Eric Gilmore, MLB.com)"
In a season where his team lost 103 games, Ryan Zimmerman did his best to show that the Nationals still had a future ahead of them with a breakout year. The 24-year-old third baseman put his talents on full display both with the bat and the glove. He put together the longest hitting streak of anyone in baseball, beating out Ichiro by three games. For his defensive efforts, Zimmerman earned ESPN’s Web Gem Champion honors by amassing 19 highlight reel plays throughout the year.
Zim’s 7.3 bWAR that season is the second highest total ever recorded by a National. With his eye-opening season, he further established himself as the “Face of the Franchise.” It was one of the biggest reasons the Nats agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension after the 2011 season. While Zimmerman has yet to recapture that level of sustained success over the past few years, he is still beloved by the fanbase for providing a spark when there was little action to be found.