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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scouting Jordan Zimmermann Again

Jordan Zimmermann - #27

Pictures taken at Citi Field April 29, 2009
24 years old (25 in May)
3rd Major League Season (24 career starts)
6'2", 220 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Profile: 2nd round pick in 2007, who has been pushed through the minor leagues and he has responded and performed at every level. He is being used as the comparison/model for Strasburg's rehabilitation program.
Lot of stress going to be placed on that elbow...Wonder why he had TJ. Picture from April 2009
Zimmermann has an electric arm, but still the same mechanics that may have lead him to Tommy John surgery in the first place. Picture from April 2011

Good: He has a hard fastball, which tops out at 95-96 mph (average 93 mph), a plus slider (85 mph), and also mixes in a curve (77 mph), and change (85 mph). He has thrown more sliders than his curve since his comeback from Tommy John surgery (7 starts in 2010). His career K/9 rate is 8.5, and BB/9 is < 3, which is a reason for optimism. He is a good athlete who fields his position well, and even DH'd in college when he wasn't pitching. He is ranked the #3 Nationals player (behind Strasburg and Harper) for 25 years and under.
Bad: He was plagued by home runs last year when he returned from Tommy John (warning, small sample size). Although he has great stuff, he hasn't quite put it all together yet, with a 4.63 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. His FIP is 4.15 (3.59 in 2009).

He's made 4 starts in 2011, and is 1-3, with a 3.70 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, with his only win coming on the Mets home opener. He has yet to throw 100 pitches in a game, and is averaging only 6 innings per start. He struggled in his last start versus the Cardinals, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. One thing that caught my eye when looking through his stats so far this year, is that his swing and miss % is way down to 5.5% (was 9% before the surgery). He has great stuff, but has there been a shift in pitching philosophy to pitch to contact versus put hitters away? This is a number I will be keeping my eye on throughout the game/season.

Against the Mets in his career, he's started 5 times, and is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.32 WHIP (with 2 bad starts in 2009 inflating those numbers).

Zimmermann is a future #1/#2 starter, who can be dominating, but still is finding his way to be consistent.

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