Washington Nationals 2013 Positional Review: Third Base
In 2013, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman wasn’t his usual self. For the first time in his eight year career, the former first round draft pick was inconsistent and underachieving.
Throughout the season, Zimmerman battled through a shoulder injury that actually forced him out of a few games. He got off to a slow start defensively and his productivity at the plate was slow until the last couple months of the season. It has many, including myself, questioning his future at third base for the Nationals.
Zimmerman committed 21 errors in the hot corner for Washington this season, his most since 2007. His 94.5-percent fielding percentage is the lowest of his career. At the plate, Zimmerman finished with an average of .275, his lowest since 2007, but he did hit 26 home runs even though most of those homers came near the end of the season.
It wasn’t until the final quarter of the season that Zimmerman really came to life and that was only from the plate. He still struggled in the field, was very inconsistent, and just didn’t seem like himself. While he did have a few web gems this season, they were few and far between.
Due to speculation about Adam LaRoche possibly being traded away, Zimmerman’s defensive future is somewhat cloudy. If the first baseman is traded away, we could likely see Zimmerman get moved over to first. Current second baseman, and heir apparent to the hot corner, Anthony Rendon would then move over and take over third. For now, Zimmerman is still slated as the 2014 third baseman.
This past season was a rough one for the former All-Star. When compared to previous seasons, it just doesn’t compare. Based off of his past performances, Zimmerman’s 2013 season has earned him a C+. While his batting numbers look good, most of those came at the end. Throughout the season, he was inconsistent and underwhelming both defensively and offensively.