Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman Our Player Of The Week

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Apr 29, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) hits a solo home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) hits a solo home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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The face of the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman, has gotten off to a terrific start to the 2017 season. He had an exceptionally good week this week, leading to him being named District on Deck’s player of the week.

Throughout his twenties, Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was consistently among the best third basemen in the league. Then he became extremely injury-prone, and his arm eventually gave out, causing him to move to first base. Injuries derailed his career, and it looked as if he’d never be the same again.

Zimmerman has been one of the best players in the league this season, and is enjoying quite the bounce-back year. Just how good has he been? So far, he leads the MLB in homers (11), RBI’s (27), batting average (.410), slugging percentage (.892), on-base plus slugging (1.347), total bases (74), and extra base hits (18). He is also tied for second for hits (34) with Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, and is only one short of the leader, Mike Trout.

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Zimmerman leads the entire league in nearly every single offensive category. That’s not bad for a so-called “washed-up first baseman”. His “ryanaissance” has led to him reclaiming his status as a fan favorite.

This week was an especially hot week for Zimmerman. In six games, he hit .500 with six homers, nine runs, and 13 RBI’s. He homered in five of the six games, got a hit in every game, and had four multi-hit games.  Zimmerman closed out the week with three straight three-RBI games. Throughout the entire week, he only had one game without multiple RBI’s.

Zimmerman’s best game this week was April 28 against the Mets when he went two-for-four with two homers. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that his homers came against Jacob deGrom and Addison Reed. deGrom is one of the best pitchers in the league, and Reed is one of the Mets’ best relievers.

Another very impressive game was April 29 when he went three-for-four with another homer and three RBIs. This homer also came against Reed, who is quickly developing a hatred for Zimmerman. The homer was the longest in the history of Nationals Park at 470 feet, which at that point was also the longest homer of the season before Jake Lamb hit a 481-foot shot later in the day.

The Nats offense has been clicking on all cylinders, and Zimmerman has played a crucial role. He has been a mainstay in the heart of the lineup, batting either fourth or fifth in every game played. The Nats have boasted arguably the best lineup in the majors, which would not be the case without Zimmerman performing so well.

In addition to contributing at the plate, Zimmerman also plays gold glove-caliber defense at first base. He was a perennial gold glove candidate when he played third, and his defensive skills have transferred across the diamond. He frequently bails out infielders on bad throws, and saves countless errors over the course of the season.

While this level of offensive production will be near impossible to sustain over an entire season, Zimmerman has gotten off to a phenomenal start and has proved that he’s still capable of being an excellent everyday player. Between his offensive prowess and his great glove, it appears he could be in the MVP conversation assuming he stays healthy.

Next: Analyzing The Impact Of Adam Eaton's Injury

The Nats finished up a grueling road trip this week, but they managed to win nine of the ten games. Lots of these wins were courtesy of the offense, and Zimmerman was a constant contributor. Without Zimmerman’s outstanding week, the Nats may not have fared so well. He has gotten off to a great start to the 2017 season, and has reestablished himself as one of the top players in the league.

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