- Jordan Zimmermann (Washington Nationals)
Zimmermann may be the most underrated pitcher in MLB. In fact, the argument “Who is the Nationals’ ace?” was very much in question. Until Max Scherzer was brought in, that is. Zimmermann is the third (or possibly second) piece of what is the best starting rotation in the league.
Zimmermann has averaged 15 wins per year over the last three seasons, and with an improved lineup, his career high of 19 wins might be broken this year. He finished second in the National League this past season in both WAR (5.3) and FIP (2.68). The 28-year-old finished off his 2014 season masterfully when he pitched a no-hitter in the final game of the regular season. He pitched to only 28 batters, allowing just one walk the entire game.
Zimmermann sticks mostly to his fastball, which averages about 94 mph. The slider that Zimmermann throws, which he calls a “baby cutter,” is his best pitch with two strikes. He throws the fastball about four times more than the slider on average, but only had about twice as many strikeouts with the heater.
Some may say Zimmermann will get lost playing in a lineup that features five players who have finished top 10 in Cy Young voting at least one time in their careers. I disagree. I think that playing with great players will just prove how great Zimmermann is, proving that he can play at the same level.