Monday, November 30, 2015


The first if the "Big Four" of free agent ace-level starting pitchers signed on the dotted line Sunday when the Detroit Tigers reeled in former Washington Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmerman.  Annually one of the more underrated high-end starters in the game going back over five years, Zimmerman will now front a Tigers rotation that is looking for an ace since losing Max Scherzer to the Nats prior to 2015.  With the ink still fresh on the deal, let's dig in and see what Zimmerman's fantasy baseball value will look like in his new home.

Turning only 30 in May, Zimmerman remains in his pitching prime and should once again be a very solid stock to invest in for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Ever since undergoing Tommy John surgery at the start of his major league career, Zimmerman turned into a prime front-of-the-rotation arm for the Nationals starting in 2011 when he registered a 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.  It was the start of a very impressive run where Zimmerman's season ERA's and WHIP's starting in 2012 and going through last season read as the following:

2012:  2.94 ERA/1.17 WHIP
2013:  3.25 ERA/1.09 WHIP
2014:  2.66 ERA/1.07 WHIP
2015:  3.66 ERA/1.20 WHIP

Looking at the numbers, it is easy to see why we here at the Fantasy Sports Boss have called Zimmerman one of the best starting pitcher values in the entire game and who served as one of the more affordable fantasy baseball-worthy aces.  What separates Zimmerman from the top of the heap when it comes to fantasy baseball ace pitchers is the fact his K rate and strikeout totals are not on par with the Clayton Kershaws, Corey Kluber's, and Zack Greinke's of the world.  Zimmerman's career-high in K's was the 182 he had in 2014 and that total is an outlier since he has never topped 164 in any other season.  Thus you have to factor that into the equation when it comes to Zimmerman's 2015 fantasy baseball stock.  On the plus side, Zimmerman has some of the best hit rates in the game and he also doesn't beat himself with walks.  Finally, Zimmerman moving from the NL to the AL with his new deal with the Tigers is obviously going to hurt his numbers a bit.  The going rate for such a move for a pitcher is about a half-run increase in ERA and .05 of a bump in WHIP.  Still Zimmerman remains in a prime pitcher's park in Comerica Park and that should help offset some of the rise in his ratios. 

2016 PROJECTION:  14-8 3.62 ERA 1.14 WHIP 159 K 

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