Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann
33-Year-Old PitcherSP
Detroit Tigers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Coming off a career-worst campaign in 2017 (6.08 ERA and 1.55 WHIP), Zimmermann bounced back and put together his best season since joining the Tigers in 2016, although that's not saying much. The veteran right-hander improved both his strikeout and walk rates in 2018, resulting in the second-best K/BB (4.27) of his career and his best since 2014. Despite the improvement, a drop in fastball velocity (his average fastball in 2018 clocked in 1.9 mph below his career average) and a jump in Zimmermann's home-run rate, from 1.63 HR/9 in 2017 to 1.92 HR/9 in 2018, resulted in an unremarkable 4.52 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. The 32-year-old is still owed $50 million over the next two seasons, assuring him a spot in Detroit's starting rotation as long as he's healthy. Zimmermann underwent sports hernia surgery after the season, but he's expected to be ready for spring training. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers in November of 2015.
Yields one hit in no-decision
PDetroit Tigers
August 17, 2019
Zimmerman allowed one hit while throwing five scoreless frames with no walks and five strikeouts during a no-decision against the Rays on Saturday.
The right-hander missed his last couple outings with a right cervical spasm, but with his sparkling performance Saturday, there doesn't seem to be any lingering effects. It's too bad the Tigers limited him to 63 pitches because he was on his way to a special night. Instead, he was just a footnote in an extra-innings 1-0 loss. He could have used the win, as Zimmerman, who will pitch in Houston on Thursday, is 1-8 with a 6.66 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 77 innings this season.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .300 820 140 55 225 46 6 36
Since 2017vs Right .290 794 131 36 214 38 10 32
2019vs Left .322 170 26 15 49 11 1 6
2019vs Right .284 175 31 6 46 9 3 5
2018vs Left .261 290 57 18 70 12 3 15
2018vs Right .277 266 54 8 70 11 3 13
2017vs Left .322 360 57 22 106 23 2 15
2017vs Right .304 353 46 22 98 18 4 14
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 6.09 1.48 183.1 9 18 0 6.5 2.1 1.7
Since 2017Away 5.21 1.39 185.0 7 11 0 6.7 2.3 1.7
2019Home 8.18 1.97 33.0 0 6 0 6.5 3.8 1.6
2019Away 5.52 1.16 44.0 1 2 0 6.8 1.4 1.0
2018Home 4.54 1.21 73.1 4 5 0 7.5 1.5 1.8
2018Away 4.50 1.33 58.0 3 3 0 7.8 2.2 2.0
2017Home 6.66 1.53 77.0 5 7 0 5.6 2.0 1.5
2017Away 5.53 1.57 83.0 3 6 0 6.0 2.9 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Jordan Zimmermann compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
90.5 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
90.2 mph
Spin Rate
2295 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Zimmermann's slight semblance of fantasy relevance took another hit in 2017, as the veteran hurler turned in a career-worst 6.08 ERA over 160 innings. His exorbitant ERA was the worst mark in the majors among starting pitchers who threw at least 150 innings. Three years removed from an All-Star campaign in which he posted a 2.66 ERA and 22.8 strikeout rate, Zimmermann looked like a shell of his former self this past season. Though he still had decent zip on his fastball (roughly 93 mph average velocity), the 31-year-old saw his strikeout rate fall to a career-low 14.5 percent and he was squared up for a career-worst 1.63 HR/9. Zimmermann is a rapidly declining asset but is still owed a hefty $74 million over the final three years of his contract. While he'll likely be counted upon to eat up innings in 2018 for the rebuilding Tigers, he can be left off your fantasy radar as it seems Zimmermann's best days are long behind him.
Zimmermann just suffered his worst season ever in 2016. The real question at this point is how much of it was injury-related and how much was a degradation of skills? His 3.66 ERA in 2015 might push you closer to degradation, but his strikeout and walk rates that year were completely in line with his 2011-13 seasons while his 2014 stands out as a career year. The one key change in 2015 was his career-worst home run rate (1.1 HR/9) and it was even a tick worse in 2016 at 1.2 HR/9. Neck and lat injuries might have been at play in the career-low 15 percent strikeout rate and the spike in walk rate to six percent, his highest since 2009. Zimmermann had a 3.24 ERA through 13 starts, before he allowed 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings in two starts before the neck injury and another 15 earned runs in 9.2 innings the rest of the way with a second DL stint mixed in. A healthy Zimmermann should yield something close to a 4.00 ERA in his age-30 campaign.
Zimmermann didn't exactly have the kind of season he hoped for heading into free agency. Although his fastball was down a tick, he still averaged 93 mph, and there was no other obvious sign of decreased effectiveness in his arsenal. Still, his ERA and FIP both soared by a run or more, his home run rate spiked to a career-high 1.07, and his K/9 rate tumbled back down into the sevens after a career-high 8.2 in 2014. If he's able to rebound, there's no reason to think he won't be a solid mid-rotation starter once again, but six years removed from Tommy John surgery, the clock could be ticking on his new elbow ligament, and the slight drop in velocity might be a harbinger of rough times ahead. The Tigers signed him to a five-year, $110 million contract in the offseason, however, confident in his ability to return to form and slot in behind Justin Verlander in their rotation.
Zimmermann has become the workhorse of the Nationals' staff, averaging 203 innings and 15 wins over the last three seasons while producing consistently very-good-to-excellent ratios. His K/9 rate even spiked up to a career-best 8.2, giving him more juice than expected in five-category leagues, and while Stephen Strasburg has the shinier pedigree and gaudier strikeout numbers, it's Zimmermann that opposing hitters seem to dread facing the most, an opinion backed up by his September no-hitter. Although he continues to toy around with a changeup, he relied even more heavily than usual on his mid-90s fastball and vicious slider last year, and with free agency looming, he'll have plenty of motivation to gun for his first 20-win campaign. Given his contract status, there's a chance he could get dealt before spring training, but there aren't many teams that can provide him with the offensive and defensive support that the Nats can, so a trade wouldn't likely improve his value. In all likelihood, Zimmermann will be leading the club back into the postseason hunt in 2015.
With Stephen Strasburg unable to buy a win and Gio Gonzalez taking a step back in 2013, it was Zimmermann who took his turn as the Nationals' staff ace and set career highs in innings, wins, total strikeouts and walk rate. Somewhat amazingly, all four of his pitches (fastball, slider, curveball and changeup) showed a positive run expectancy last year, which was the main engine of his success more than any one dominant pitch. He won't challenge the 200-strikeout mark, which keeps him from being an elite fantasy starter, but Zimmermann is solidifying his spot near the top of the next tier of pitchers.
The Nationals took the shackles off Zimmermann in 2012 and his numbers showed no regression, as his walk and strikeout rates were almost identical to the season before. He pounds the strike zone with plus stuff, and while that has not translated into elite numbers, he does not need to reach that level in a rotation that already features two aces in Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. If Davey Johnson starts letting him go a little deeper into games his win total might pick up a bit, but otherwise expect more of the same from Zimmermann.
Zimmermann was the Nationals' most consistent starting pitcher during the 2011 season. He got stronger as the season progressed, something that is typical for pitchers on the mend from Tommy John surgery. He was shut down in September because he reached his innings limit. Zimmermann’s control was impeccable (1.73 BB/9IP) locating his fastball (93.3 mph), slider, curveball and occasional change-up. However, he was somewhat lucky concerning his HR/FB ratio (5.9 percent). His flyball tendencies should lead to more home runs next season, and a slightly higher ERA will likely follow.
Zimmermann's return from Tommy John surgery was a resounding success, as other than a spike in his HR/9IP rate his numbers were remarkably similar in seven 2010 starts to what he put up before getting hurt. In short, the surgery just put his career on pause for 12 months and didn't appear to set back his development, which is excellent news for a team trying to build around its young rotation. With Stephen Strasburg taking his own turn under the knife, Zimmermann will likely be the Nationals' No. 1 starter in 2011, which means you should expect solid numbers everywhere but in the wins category.
Zimmermann posted exceptional numbers for a rookie, even if his ERA didn't reflect it. Any kid who can strike out better than a batter an inning with a better than 3.0 K/BB ratio, and who isn't particularly flyball prone to boot, has a chance to be someone very special. Unfortunately, he won't get a chance to show how special until at least late 2010 thanks to Tommy John surgery, but assuming he eventually regains his form he'll pair up with Stephen Strasburg down the road to give the Nats a truly scary young pitching duo at the head of their rotation.
Zimmermann had no problem adjusting to full season ball in 2008, making it all the way up to Double-A and maintaining a strikeout-an-inning pace, while keeping the ball down in the strike zone and not walking too many batters. Given their recent history with their top pitching prospects you can expect Zimmermann to make his big league debut in 2009 but unlike previous hurlers like Ross Detwiler, Zimmermann might actually be ready to hold his own in the majors. He's got three quality pitches including a plus slider, and it's entirely possible that he'll head into spring training camp in 2010 as the Nationals de facto ace.
The second-round pick had a great 2007 debut in Rookie ball, displaying better-than-expected control to go along with a very good slider and two other quality pitches. He's a few years away from regular major league duty, but as the Nationals showed last year with Ross Detwiler, the organization isn't afraid to give its top prospects a late-season cup of coffee to let them know what's ahead of them. Assuming Zimmerman doesn't suffer a setback in his first exposure to full season ball, he could make his big league debut this September even if he's not ready for a regular spot until 2010.
More Fantasy News
Cleared to rejoin rotation
PDetroit Tigers
August 17, 2019
Zimmermann (neck) has been confirmed as the Tigers' starting pitcher for Saturday's game against the Rays, Dawn Klemish of reports.
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Eyeing Saturday start
PDetroit Tigers
August 15, 2019
The Tigers are expected to activate Zimmermann (neck) from the 10-day injured list to start Saturday's game against the Rays, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
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Could be activated soon
PDetroit Tigers
August 14, 2019
Zimmermann (neck) may bypass a rehab assignment and be activated soon, Evan Woodbery of reports.
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Throws from flat ground
PDetroit Tigers
August 10, 2019
Zimmermann (neck) threw on flat ground from over 100 feet Saturday, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
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Out with neck spasms
PDetroit Tigers
August 5, 2019
Zimmermann was placed on the 10-day injured list with a neck spasm Monday.
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