On Monday, June 5th, the most recent update for the All-Star Game ballot was released, and the results were more than pleasant. Though he trailed Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo after the first ballot update, Ryan Zimmerman surged past Rizzo to take the lead in voting. Nats fans rejoice with the knowledge that Cubs Nation can’t compete with the facts.
Let’s take a look at the facts. Zimmerman, obviously, is crushing the league in just about every offensive category. That’s why it was a little confusing when Rizzo was leading after the first ASG update. As of Monday, Rizzo had a slash line of .232/.367/.449, to go along with 12 home runs, 30 RBI, and 31 runs scored. While the home runs and RBI aren’t too shabby, the slash line is less than ideal. But when compared to Zimmerman’s numbers, you’re left wondering how they could even be in the same category. Zimmerman’s slash line is .372/.438/.704, and he’s mashed 16 home runs, 48 RBI, and 39 runs scored. Out-of-this world good. And yet somehow Rizzo led at first base after May 30th.
Ryan Zimmerman took notice of this and decided to do something about it. In six games since the first All-Star update, Zimmerman hit .360/.448/.680 with an OPS of 1.128, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, and 6 runs scored. He made himself heard, and it was noticeable in the polls. In the first ballot update, Rizzo led with 452,620 votes, while Zimmerman held second with 359,055 votes; that’s a 93,565 vote lead for Rizzo. As of the second update, Zimmerman leapfrogged into the lead with 670,671 votes, while Rizzo had 657,702 votes. That’s a whopping 311,616 increase in votes for Zimmerman in about a week. His votes almost doubled in an incredibly short amount of time. It seems that the rest of the baseball world is finally starting to recognize all the great stuff Zim has been doing this season.
So we’re a third of the way through the season, and the question remains up in the air: Could we have a triple crown winner on our hands? Zimmerman has been leading those categories all season, and every big analyst thought he’d have dipped by now. But it’s a third of the way done, and Zim hasn’t quit. Zimmerman leads both the National League and the Majors in average (.372) and RBI (48), and he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs (16). Zimmerman has competition nipping at his heels in the home run and RBI races but currently has a 24 point lead in the race for batting average. All the big baseball analysts, even the ones rooting for him, will say that Zimmerman won’t keep this up and might not lead in any of these categories by the end of the season. But enough of the season has passed, and the numbers don’t lie. Zim has the ability to keep this up. It’s incredibly difficult to win a triple crown (last done by Miguel Cabrera in 2012), and Zimmerman will have to go through the entire season at this torrid pace. A lot of things would have to go right, but I believe that Zimmerman can do it and there’s a legitimate chance of this happening.
So make sure to keep voting for Zimmerman, the future All-Star, possible triple crown winner, and potential MVP.Tags: Nationals, Nats, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals