26 May Ryan Zimmerman: Not Just One Of The Guys
By: Shane Thompson
Following their final season in 2004, The Montreal Expos relocated to the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. The franchise’s first priority was to figure out “Where do we go from here? Do we rebuild? Reload?” Obviously, a successful front office is one that makes moves to benefit your ball club. Whether that be finding personalities, talent or production that fit your club’s identity and can help you win.
Despite the first year in Washington being considered a “winner” finishing at an even 81-81, they knew they needed to make a splash and find the new face of their franchise. Ryan Zimmerman was the unanimous pick for them with their first round pick (4th overall) in the 2005 draft. The first home run and walk-off home run hit in their new ballpark came off the bat of Zimmerman, leading management and fans to believe that things were finally looking up, right? Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Zimmerman became known as one of the most inconsistent players in the game, posting as high as 110 RBI’s and 33 HR in a season. The numbers he put up began to fall and so did the teams number of wins. Only in the last five seasons have the Nationals started to become serious contenders.
Going into this season, the first player you tend to think for the Washington Nationals would be Bryce Harper; or other former top prospects Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon. Even the acquisition of Daniel Murphy after 2015 and Matt Wieters this past offseason took the attention off of Zimmerman and it’s been a blessing in disguise. This is no flash in the pan; Zim is leading the National League in doubles, he’s top five in home runs, while hitting .371 and posting an OBP of .410. Despite Adam Eaton being out for the season, his replacement Michael Taylor has proven to be an everyday centerfielder offensively. Everything seems to be falling into place for the Nationals to finally make a deep post season run. I think they’re a closer away from doing something special in 2017 and a big reason why is the reemergence of Ryan Zimmerman.