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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 23: Why Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman May Not Be As Reliable As You Think

Tue, Feb 1, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Ryan Zimmerman is a popular pick among fantasy managers this season, and for good reason. He possesses a solid, all-around game with plenty of power, the ability to maintain a .300 batting average, and even steal a base or two. And the best part? He’s only 26.

Durability concerns and the loss of Adam Dunn, however, may prevent the Nationals’ third baseman from reaching his expected totals in 2011.

Replacing Dunn’s 38-HR bat in the Washington lineup this season will be Jayson Werth, who had the good fortune of a .352 BABIP in 2010, not to mention ridiculous home/road splits thanks to Citizens Bank Park:

  • Home: 284 at-bats, 57 runs, 18 HRs, 51 RBI, .320 batting average
  • Away: 270 at-bats, 49 runs, 9 HRs, 34 RBI, .270 batting average

This isn’t to say Jayson won’t be worth (ba dump bump) anything this year. Rather, he’s simply feared much less than Dunn is, meaning Zimmerman probably won’t see as many pitches to hit as he did last season.

Also working against Zimmerman (in the minds of fantasy managers) is his inability to stay healthy. Last season, Zimmerman missed a total of 20 games due to two separate injuries: a sore hamstring and a strain to something called an intercostal. In 2008, he missed 56 games because of a shoulder injury. These injuries hardly seem chronic, but three of ‘em in three years is worth mentioning.

The truth is, however, that third base is very thin this season. After the top five (Wright, Longoria, Rodriguez, Youkilis and Zimmerman according to our rankings) are off the board, there’s a significant drop off in production.

Both Mock Draft Central’s ADP and Funston’s Big Board have Zimmerman listed as the fourth-ranked third baseman at No. 20 overall. We have him a few spots lower, as the fifth-ranked player at his position. Either way, based purely on talent, he’s worth a top-25 pick.

2010 stats 603 85 25 85 4 .307
3-year average 588 82 24 81 2 .294
2011 FBI Forecast 650 95 29 100 3 .289


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