When the Major League Baseball season started in April, I don’t think too many people would have expected that Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman would be leading the majors in batting average over the first two months of the season. However, that is currently the case, as Zimmerman has had a great comeback season and is currently batting .374.
However Zimmerman is just not hitting singles. Of his 73 hits, he has 34 extra base hits (18 doubles and 16 home runs). When 46.6% of your hits are not singles, you are simply smoking the baseball, and that has contributed to Zimmerman’s sparkling MLB-leading .713 slugging percentage and 1.133 OPS.
Zimmerman’s 16 home runs leads the National League (with Justin Bour of the Miami Marlins and Scott Schebler of the Cincinnati Reds) and is only two back of Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, who leads Major League Baseball with 18 home runs. Zimmerman also leads MLB with 48 runs batted in.
The fact that Zimmerman is putting up career numbers is actually surprising. That is because in 2016, he only batted .218 with 15 home runs and 46 runs batted in. Zimmerman also has more home runs and runs batted in, in 195 at bats in 2017 than he did in 427 at bats during all of last season.
A productive hitting Zimmerman gives the Nationals a much more dangerous lineup, and a chance to win their first World Series in franchise history. In fact, the Nationals franchise has not even been to the World Series since they started as the Montreal Expos in 1969. However, real baseball fans across the continent know that Montreal would have won the World Series in 1994 if there had been a World Series that year.
It should be noted that Zimmerman’s offensive production has been recognized by the fans. Zimmerman has passed Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs as the starting National League first baseman in fan balloting. What is staggering is that he is still available in 4% of fantasy baseball leagues. Even if you are in a league where you are only allowed five moves per season, it is time to add Zimmerman.
Washington’s offensive lineup is scary. Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are also batting above .320, while Anthony Rendon has 10 home runs and Trea Turner has 16 stolen bases. There is a lot of talk that the Houston Astros have a great chance to win their first World Series in franchise history, but it is too early to not count out the Washington Nationals.