Washington Nationals: Top Ten Rookie Seasons in Nationals History
By Tim James
#5- Stephen Strasburg- 2010
Many Nationals observers point to June 8, 2010, as being the start of a new day for Nationals’ baseball. That evening featured much-hyped rookie Stephen Strasburg’s first Major League start, and the stoic right-hander did not disappoint as he fanned 14 Pittsburgh Pirates to win his debut game in electric fashion. Starts by Strasburg were must-see events during an otherwise ho-hum 2010 campaign. The San Diego native went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA while striking out 92 opponents in 68 innings pitched. An August injury cut the talented hurler’s rookie campaign short, but most who watched him get his feet wet in the Majors in 2010 knew that they were watching someone with exceptional talent.
#4- Ryan Zimmerman- 2006
On Fathers’ Day 2006 on a steamy afternoon at RFK Stadium, the legend of “Mr. Walk-Off” was born. With the cavernous stadium mostly full and the New York Yankees in town, 2005 first round draft pick Ryan Zimmerman sent the crowd into a frenzy with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory over the stunned New Yorkers. That magic moment was one of many Zimmerman would have on the year, as he hit 22 homers, drove in 110 runs and played excellent defense at third base.