Ryan Zimmerman’s Hot Start Gets Sports Science Treatment

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By now, Virginia baseball fans are probably pretty aware that former Cavalier Ryan Zimmerman has started this Major League season on a tear. He’s the league leader in hits (47), RBI (34), batting average (.420), total bases (98), slugging percentage (.875), on-base plus slugging (1.334), and home runs (13, tied).

In a cool ‘Wahoowa!’ twist, however, UVA fans can now get an in-depth look at what’s helped Zimmerman’s red hot start. That’s because fellow Virginia alum John Brenkus, the man behind ESPN’s Sport Science, just gave the lab treatment to the Washington Nationals’ first baseman.

Take a look! And you can read this Virginia Magazine archived profile on Brenkus as well.

Brenkus is far from the only one taking note of Zimmerman’s zestful start, though. He earned the National League Player of the Month honor for April. It marked the first time he’d ever won that award in 13 seasons with the Nats. He led the majors in hits (37), RBI (29), batting average (.420) and more in April. That led to this article on MLB.com where Zimmerman said “it’s hard to describe” the feeling at the plate right now.

Neil Greenberg at The Washington Post dove into a statistical and graphical breakdown of Zimmerman’s rapid start as well. He called Zimmerman’s bounce-back season “truly stunning” in that article. Plus, current UVA assistant coach Kevin McMullan re-Tweeted a CSN Mid-Atlantic article on the Hoo as well.

Zimmerman played three years at UVA and was the No. 4 overall pick by the Nationals in the 2005 MLB Draft. He finished with a .355 batting average. When he left UVA, he ranked fifth all-time in doubles (47), sixth in hits (250) and seventh in RBI (140).

Any Cavalier fans in the Washington D.C. area that want to catch Zimmerman in action, this is a good time to do it. The schedule has the Nationals in Baltimore Tuesday-Thursday this week before a weekend homestand against the Phillies.

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