Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Zimmerman
35-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Washington Nationals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Stop us if you have heard this story before: Zimmerman struggled with injury problems last season and saw his playing time and effectiveness greatly impacted. He began the season slowly, hitting .217/.280/.409 over 125 plate appearances before going on the disabled list with back troubles. He came back just after the All-Star break and closed the season hitting .295/.374/.538 in his final 198 plate appearances. When Zimmerman is healthy, he can rake. When he is hurting, his numbers suffer badly. He has a history of health ailments that get in the way, and those are unlikely to go away in his mid-30s. He has one more guaranteed year on his contract, and there are $20 million reasons why Zimmerman will be in the lineup as much as his health allows him to despite his below-average defense. This will probably be his last year in the National League. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension with the Nationals in February of 2012. Contract includes $18 million team option ($2 million buyout) for 2020.
Not starting Sunday
1BWashington Nationals
September 22, 2019
Zimmerman is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Marlins.
Zimmerman started Saturday's game, but as has been the case regularly the last week, Howie Kendrick will get the start at first base in Sunday's series finale.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left 1.055 280 42 17 54 0 .351 .418 .637
Since 2017vs Right .801 809 101 38 132 2 .262 .320 .481
2019vs Left .966 53 5 2 8 0 .367 .415 .551
2019vs Right .645 137 15 4 19 0 .213 .285 .361
2018vs Left 1.143 84 15 5 16 0 .377 .476 .667
2018vs Right .718 239 18 8 35 1 .228 .289 .429
2017vs Left 1.038 143 22 10 30 0 .331 .385 .654
2017vs Right .895 433 68 26 78 1 .295 .349 .547
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .896 535 72 28 95 1 .294 .359 .538
Since 2017Away .835 554 71 27 91 1 .274 .332 .503
2019Home .707 94 7 2 14 0 .247 .319 .388
2019Away .765 96 13 4 13 0 .267 .323 .442
2018Home .760 165 17 7 27 0 .233 .315 .445
2018Away .889 158 16 6 24 1 .296 .361 .528
2017Home 1.041 276 48 19 54 1 .345 .399 .643
2017Away .829 300 42 17 54 0 .265 .320 .509
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Stat Review
How does Ryan Zimmerman compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
91.4 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Zimmerman was an endgame consideration in most mixed leagues last season, but he turned out to be a tremendous value for the owners who took the late flier. Underneath his disappointing 2016 numbers was a player who was near the top of the exit velocity leaderboards, which prompted a series of adjustments designed to help him generate a better launch angle. Those changes, paired with improved health, allowed Zimmerman to swat a career-high 36 homers -- the same number he hit in the previous three seasons combined -- while he delivered a .303/.358/.573 line en route to the best OPS (.930) of his career. Amazingly, his plate discipline and batted-ball profile barely changed, although his strikeout rate jumped above 25 percent in the second half. Buy into the skills, but it would be prudent to alter the playing time volume expectations based on the myriad of injuries that have impacted him throughout his career as Zimmerman has averaged 112 games played annually since the start of 2013.
While a lot of things went very right for the Nationals last year, Zimmerman regaining his swagger was not one of them. He once again couldn't stay off the DL, and even though his 115 games played were his highest total since 2013, he didn't do much with those extra plate appearances, posting a career-low .642 OPS and career-high 22.3 percent strikeout rate. Now 32 years old and with a bad shoulder that limits him to first base, there's little reason for optimism in Zimmerman's future. He didn't even put together his usual big finish to the season, hitting just .222/.259/.333 in 81 at-bats through September and October, although he did show some life in the playoffs. Heading into the final year of his contract, the one-time face of the franchise may find himself slowly pushed to the bench in 2017, as the 21 games Daniel Murphy played at first base could be a sign that the front office no longer views Zimmerman as even a short-term option at the position.
Coming off the worst season of his career, Zimmerman seems a lot older than his listed 31 years of age, as injuries have completely scuttled his production over the last two seasons. A move across the diamond was expected to help save some wear and tear on him, but a case of plantar fasciitis plagued him all summer before an oblique injury ended his campaign for good. His second-half numbers were much improved, however, as he slashed .311/.372/.652 with 11 home runs in 135 at-bats between the two lengthy stints on the shelf, giving the Nationals some hope that he can still be productive if he can just stay off the DL. The Nats don't have anyone coming up through the system to replace Zimmerman at first base any time soon, though, and Clint Robinson and Tyler Moore are stop-gaps at best, so if those hopes don't pan out things could get ugly in Washington again in 2016.
Although he resisted the idea for as long as he could, it became clear in 2014 that Zimmerman's balky shoulder just wouldn't allow him to play third base any longer, and he ended up playing more games in left field than at the hot corner. The shoulder ended up being the least of his worries though, as a broken thumb and severe hamstring strain limited him to just 61 games and a miserable five home runs, reducing him to essentially spectator status as the Nationals fell to the Giants in the first round of the playoffs. Zimmerman will move across the diamond to first base this season, a move which should help keep him in one piece, and if he can stay off the DL, he should be able to rebound to the 25-homer, 80-90 RBI level of production that his owners were used to. There's some risk here, but also plenty of potential reward if his draft day price is right.
For a guy whose final numbers always seem fairly consistent, Zimmerman is an amazingly streaky player. This time around, he limped into September with just 15 home runs and concerns that his shoulder issues might finally have sapped his power, but those concerns vanished after an 11-homer barrage to close out the season. His 79 RBI were the lowest total of his career, but that was as much due to the offense around him as his own early-season struggles. If you roster Zimmerman, odds are good that at some point he'll seem like a wasted investment, and at some point he'll be the hottest hitter in the majors.
Zimmerman's season can be divided into two epochs, BC (Before Cortisone) and AD (After Doctor). Playing through a sprained joint in his shoulder, Zimmerman managed a feeble five home runs, 31 RBI and a .234 batting average through the first few months. A late-June round of cortisone shots proved to be just what his fantasy owners ordered though, and he exploded for a .319/20/64 line from July on. He underwent offseason surgery to hopefully fix his shoulder once and for all, and while his injury history is extensive enough to make you nervous, it is hard not to mentally multiply those second-half numbers by two and salivate over the thought of what a healthy Zimmerman might do in 2013.
Zimmerman only amassed 440 plate appearances because of an abdominal strain suffered in April. Obviously his home-run total was down because of time missed, but his overall power numbers suffered in 2011. His .154 ISO and 10.9 percent HR/FB ratio were the lowest of his career, and his numbers suffered from a 50.5 percent groundball rate, also a career high. Still an above average third baseman (with some throwing problems), expect his numbers in 2012 to more closely resemble his 2010 campaign now that he's healthy again.
Nagging injuries cost him a few games, but Zimmerman kept building on his skill set, as he inched his walk rate up a notch and set a career high in OBP. He's the cornerstone position player of the franchise, an asset both with his bat and with his glove, and swapping Adam Dunn out for Jayson Werth shouldn't hurt his counting stats. Zimmerman is a keeper, in every sense of the word.
Zimmerman took a major step forward in 2009, breaking the 30-homer mark for the first time while posting new career highs in OBP and SLG thanks to a massive .350/.442/.670 August. He won't turn 26 until the end of the season so there's still some room to grow in those offensive numbers, especially if the Nationals keep upgrading the roster around him and providing him with more RBI opportunities. One more season like 2009 and Zimmerman will actually deserve the franchise player tag the organization has been trying to hang around his neck since they drafted him.
Zimmerman faced adversity for the time in his major league career, suffering through a slight labrum tear in his shoulder that rendered him ineffective at the plate. He bounced back after taking a month off for rehab, however, hitting .320/.367/.420 in August and .290/.347/.516 in September. An offseason of rest should have him fully back at 100 percent, and he should return to his usual level of production, or even higher if his power improves due to the exercise regimen he needs to strengthen his shoulder.
Aside from a few misplaced singles, Zimmerman's numbers were nearly identical to his rookie campaign, but he's still only 23 and his development can hardly be said to have leveled off yet. Moving out of RFK Stadium should help his numbers too, as Zimmerman's power tends to be in the gaps more so than down the line. His defense remains exemplary, and his offseason wrist injury shouldn't be a problem once spring training begins. The Nationals have some problems, but third base isn't going to be one of them for a long time.
Zimmerman's rookie campaign was a thing of beauty, as he played Gold Glove-caliber defense while moving smoothly into the clean-up spot in the batting order and breaking the 100 RBI mark. Only 22, he's already emerged as the face of the Nationals franchise, and if it weren't for David Wright and Miguel Cabrera it would be very easy to envision a string of All Star game starts stretching long into Zimmerman's future. As it is, the in-division rivalry between the three has the chance to become legendary, making third base in the N.L. East in the 2000s what center field was in New York in the 1950s. If that makes Zimmerman "only" the Duke Snider in that competition, it's doubtful anyone in Washington will complain.
Zimmerman couldn't have had a better pro debut if he'd had Barry Levinson directing it. The Nationals' first ever draft pick, he proceeded to tear through the minors en route to a .397/.419/.569 September in Washington. Now firmly entrenched as the team's third baseman of the present and future, he may not hit quite well enough to join the likes of David Wright, Miguel Cabrera and Scott Rolen among the elite NL fantasy third basemen, but Nats fans should be more than happy with their 21st century version of Brooks Robinson.
More Fantasy News
Out again Friday
1BWashington Nationals
September 20, 2019
Zimmerman is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Marlins, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports.
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Benched again Wednesday
1BWashington Nationals
September 18, 2019
Zimmerman is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Cardinals.
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Set for night off
1BWashington Nationals
September 17, 2019
Zimmerman isn't in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Cardinals.
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Day off Sunday
1BWashington Nationals
September 15, 2019
Zimmerman is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Braves.
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Heads to bench Thursday
1BWashington Nationals
September 12, 2019
Zimmerman is not in Thursday's lineup against the Twins.
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