Washington Nationals: Creating the ultimate superstar
By Brian Foley
While we have compiled all the offensive and defensive tools for a superstar, a player’s character and make-up can make all the difference when the going gets tough. In his 13 years with the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman has been the one constant who has held steady.
Zimmerman has seen countless highs (a pair of All-Star appearances, 6.0+ WAR seasons, 251 career home runs, four NL East titles) and plenty of lows (lingering injuries, position switches, lost seasons, four NLDS exits), but he has always held his head high.
Thrust into the spotlight at age 20 as the franchise’s first-ever draft pick, he has shattered even the most optimistic expectations. When the team sputtered in anonymity, fans gravitated to Zimmerman as the Nationals’ one beacon of light. He dragged Washington through the lean years and into a new era, patiently waiting as the team slowly surrounded him with premier talent.
Zimmerman handed over the reigns as the face of the franchise to Bryce Harper without so much as a peep, all while remaining in the background as the team’s metronome. As the team’s most-tenured player, Zimmerman’s name dots the Nationals’ record books. He also owns some of the biggest hits in team history. He has made a seamless transition from prospect to star to veteran presence rarely seen from players as they age.
In summary, our composite superstar has:
Daniel Murphy’s contact abilities
Bryce Harper’s power
Anthony Rendon’s eye
Trea Turner’s speed
Bryce Harper’s arm
Anthony Rendon’s glove
Ryan Zimmerman’s make-up
Via Baseball-Reference’s 2018 projection system, our ultimate player will hit .307 (Murphy) with an 11.6 percent walk rate (Rendon) and a .550 slugging percentage (Harper). He’ll also add 36 stolen bases (Turner), elite defense, and a superior locker room presence. Not bad. It’s almost as if taking the best skills of top major leaguers makes roster-building that much easier.
Next: Adam Eaton still on schedule
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.