Wednesday, February 25, 2015


So who is the best starting pitcher on the Washington Nationals?  Has to be Stephen Strasburg right?  What about Gio Gonzalez?  Now it surely has to be Max Scherzer?  Well if you took into account the last four seasons combined, you could say that it is Jordan Zimmerman who always seems to be forgotten when mentioning the best starting pitchers in the game.  Despite not having had a 200-strikeout season like most of the other top guys, there is no debating the fact Zimmerman has been one of the toughest starters to hit over the last four seasons as evidenced by his top-notch ratios.  So as 2015 dawns in fantasy baseball, let's revisit Zimmerman in order to see what he could supply to his owners again this season. 

Now for those ratios.  Here are the numbers from Zimmerman over the last four seasons when he firmly established himself as a top starter.

2011:  8-11 3.18 ERA 1.15 WHIP 124 K
2012:  12-8 2.94 ERA 1.17 WHIP 153 K
2013:  19-9 3.25 ERA 1.09 WHIP 161 K
2014:  14-5 2.66 ERA 1.07 WHIP 182 K

No matter how you slice it, those are ace-type numbers from a guy who may now be talked about as the fourth starter on his own team.  Still the fact of the matter is that Zimmerman is a tremendous pitcher who has successfully come back from early Tommy John surgery to stake his claim as one of the best in the game and in reality one of the most affordable fantasy baseball ace-like pitchers in the game.  The numbers don't lie and if you want to get technical, you can say that Zimmerman is only getting better as evidenced by the career-low 2.66 ERA last season and also the career-high 182 K's.  What is really interesting is the increase in strikeouts since Zimmerman came back from the Tommy John surgery.  Before the surgery, Zimmerman was considered one of the best power pitching prospects in the game as he punched out 92 batters in 91.1 innings as a 2010 rookie.  The surgery followed a year later and when Zimmerman came back, he was diminished in terms of his strikeout rate.  However the raw stuff was still very potent and tough to hit as Zimmerman proved by posting ERA's of 3.25 or better for the last four years.  And now the strikeout rates is climbing as it has done in each of those seasons during that span as well.  Specifically speaking, Zimmerman's K rate has gone from 6.92 in 2011 to last season's 8.20.  He has latched onto some additional velocity over trhe years to go along with his spot on control.  When you throw in the fact Zimmerman's home run rate has never climbed over 0.83 the last four seasons and you can see that he is the complete package as far as ace-ability is concerned. 

When you put it all together, Jordan Zimmerman is absolutely an ace starter for 2015 fantasy baseball who only gives up some strikeouts to others in that class.  If he can replicate the 180-plus K's from last season, than really this is not even worth debating from this point going forward considering how terrific his other numbers are.  This is a guy who can easily anchor your pitching staff and hold his own as the best starter in his own rotation this season. 

2015 PROJECTION:  17-5 3.07 ERA 1.06 WHIP 181 K

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