Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman today was named the recipient of the 2009 National League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger for third basemen. The Silver Slugger citation is the first of Zimmerman’s career.
Zimmerman enjoyed a breakout season at the plate in 2009, hitting .292 (178-for-610) with 37 doubles, a career-high 33 home runs, 106 RBI and a career-best 110 runs scored in 157 games. He ranked among NL leaders in runs (fourth), total bases (fifth, 320), RBI (sixth), extra-base hits (tied for eighth, 73), homers (10th) and hits (10th).
Early this season, Zimmerman’s vast potential was on full display for more than a month, as from April 8-May 12, he went 50-for-131 (.382) with 11 doubles, eight homers, 26 RBI, 11 walks and 26 runs during a career-high and MLB season-best 30-game hitting streak. The 30-gamer was MLB’s longest hit streak since Moises Alou’s 30-game run in 2007, and the longest notched by a third baseman since George Brett also hit safely in 30 consecutive games from July 18-Aug. 18, 1980.
On July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Zimmerman represented the Nationals in his first All-Star Game and became the first third baseman to represent Washington, DC in a Mid-Summer Classic since Harmon Killebrew in 1959.
The 25 year-old Zimmerman’s Silver Slugger was awarded just 24 hours after he earned his initial Rawlings Gold Glove for fielding excellence. Zimmerman, thus, joins the Dodgers Matt Kemp as the only two National Leaguers to claim both a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in 2009.
Zimmerman is the second Washington National (2005-present) to earn a Silver Slugger. In 2006, Alfonso Soriano was awarded a Silver Slugger after hitting .277 with 41 doubles, 46 home runs, 95 RBI and 41 stolen bases in his lone season with the Nationals.
In June of 2005, Zimmerman was the first draft selection in the history of the Washington Nationals.