It’s no secret that the Washington Nationals have struggled a bit since their move from Montreal. One bright spot is the presence of former Virginia star Ryan Zimmerman on the roster. His 2008 campaign hasn’t lived up to the promise of his near-ROY 2006 season, but the kid’s young – he’ll bounce back.
But no team can win on offense alone, so the Nats have been looking for some quality pitching to revive the team’s sagging fortunes. And the buzz from the farm system says they may have a fair expectation of help, soon. 22-year-old Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is currently with the AA Harrisburg Senators, and some scouts say he may be ready to make the leap.
They noticed how Zimmermann’s fastball hit 94 mph, and how it brushed the plate’s edges. They noticed how his wind-up depends on a driving lower-body push, mechanics that make Harrisburg Manager John Stearns think of Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. They noticed how he cleaned up a first-and-third, no-out mess with a popup and a double play. When scouts see something that cannot be measured, they become most convinced of talent.
‘When you need to get somebody out, can you do it?’ said Washington scouting director Dana Brown, who watched the game from behind home plate. ‘You see that, like with Zimmermann, you see somebody very close to being major league ready, if not right there scratching at the surface.’
That will be confusing, if he gets called up, though. Too many Zimmerman(n)s on one team can wreak havoc. Not like too many Dukes or Youngs would, but still.
Since the nearest MLB club for me is the Nationals, I hope this is true. I’m one of those suckers who will go to a ballgame even when the team blows, but I’d much rather take my son up to see a contender if I’m going to drive 2 1/2 hours and deal with D.C. traffic.
Hat tip to Brian Foley from The College Baseball Blog.