Is Ryan Zimmerman a .290 hitter and a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy or am I expecting too much?
-- Tony L., Amelia, Va.
No, you are not expecting too much. In fact, what I expect from Zimmerman is much higher than your numbers. He is aware of it, too. I see batting and RBI titles in his future. I think he can be a 30-30 player if manager Manny Acta gave him the chance to steal bases. Of course, I want to see more bunting from him. To me, Zimmerman is a complete player.
Jesus Christ, Bill. You can not be serious! Batting titles? RBI titles? 30 SB and 30 HR? Let's take a trip over to good ol' baseball-reference.com to crunch the numbers, shall we?
First up: batting titles. We all know you have to hit at an absurd rate to win the NL title, but just how absurd? The BA leaders in the last 10 years (plus the current season):
- 2008 (so far): Pujols .361
- 2007: Holliday .340
- 2006: Freddy Sanchez (seriously) .344
- 2005: Derreck Lee .335
- 2004: Bonds .362
- 2003: Pujols .359
- 2002: Bonds .370
- 2001: Larry walker .350
- 2000: Todd Helton .372
- 1999: Walker .379
- 1998: Walker .363
Next: RBI Title. Again, we'll turn to baseball-reference.com, and list the last ten years, and this one:
- 2008 (so far): Ryan Howard 125
- 2007: Holliday 137
- 2006: Howard 149
- 2005: Andruw Jones 128
- 2004: Vinny Castilla 131
- 2003: Preston Wilson (for real): 141
- 2002: Berkman 128
- 2001: Sosa 160
- 2000: Helton 147
- 1999: McGwire 147
- 1998: Sosa 158
The 30-30 mention? First of all, there is no way Manny lets Zim loose on the bases. He won't even let Milledge loose, God damnnit! Anyway, the yearly breakdown of Zim's SB:
- 2004 (at UVA): Successful steal on 13 of 14 attempts in 59 games, a .93% success rate.
- 2005 (No SB attempts once he got called up, all in the Minors): 1 of 7 in 67 games, 14%.
- 2006: 11 of 19 in 157 games, 57%.
- 2007: 4 of 5 in 162 games, 80%.
- 2008 (so far): 1 of 2 in 93 games, 50%
30 HRs? That's a little harder to figure out. He wasn't a power guy in college. Hell, he only hit one HR in 2004, and hit nine total in his entire College career (174 games). He did surprise a little with seasons of 20 and 24 HR in 06 and 07, though, and has shown some pop recently. 4 homers in his last 13 games after hitting 0 in the previous 37 games.
Look, I like Zim. Hell, I love him. I have two Zim bobbleheads here at work, and my tag for him in my blog posts is "The non human." But, can he live up to what Ladson predicts for him? He's got a better chance of getting Ladson to stop his weekly diesel deliveries from Afghanistan.
Will Larry Broadway be getting a September callup? Don't you think it's about time the Nationals' front office gave him a chance on the big stage?
-- Dyer T., Sanches, N.M.
I'm probably one of the few people in America who believes Broadway will be a successful Major Leaguer. It will never happen with the Nationals, though, because he doesn't have enough power. He will be a free agent after the season and sign somewhere else.
I have no clue why Ladson has such a hard on for Broadway. Larry might be a good guy, hell, maybe a great guy, but he's not a good baseball prospect. He'll turn 28 in December, and went to Duke. That's two reason to limit his appeal right there. He plays first base, but his largest HR total in a single year was 22 in 130 games back in 2004 at Harrisburg. He's spent the last three season at AAA hitting 15, 13, and 9 HR in 123, 105, and 130 games respectively. That's not MLB first baseman productivity. He is a Minor League free agent now, though, so maybe someone elsewhere will give him a shot. I hope so, cause it ain't gonna happen here.
Now, Bill, for the sake of your family...quit the heroin, okay? Also, a few less cheeseburgers might not hurt, either. And some LASIK. I'm just saying...