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Ryan Zimmerman is the best player of the 2017 MLB season so far and its not even close

Ryan Zimmerman is the best player of the 2017 MLB season so far and its not even close

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

As a first-round draft pick for the Washington Nationals back in 2005, there has always been high expectations for infielder Ryan Zimmerman. Thirteen seasons later, he is finally vaulting into one of the most dangerous players in the league at 32 years of age. 

Although the Nationals are merely a fifth of the way through an exhausting 162 game schedule (played 31 games as of Sunday night), Zimmerman is dominating the majors and second place is nowhere to be seen. Here is a list of the statistical categories that Zimmerman leads (followed by second place):

  • Hits: 47 (2nd- 43)
  • Home runs: 13 (tied with Aaron Judge)
  • RBIs: 34 (2nd- 28)
  • Batting Average: .435 (2nd- .377)
  • Slugging Percentage: .907 (2nd- .772)
  • On-base percentage plus slugging (OPS): 1.382 (2nd- 1.227)

In addition, the first baseman is second in doubles (12), tied for third in runs (28), and trails only Bryce Harper in on-base percentage (.475). The only players that are on the same level of the 13-year veteran is none other than his teammate, Harper. Playing in two fewer games than Zimmerman, Harper is in the top-10 in all those categories as well. 

It is without a doubt the 32-year-old is seeing the ball better than he has in years. Already, he is in mid-season form and should be a lock to make his second career All-Star game. He has helped carry Washington to an NL best 21-10 record, missing only one game. 

Prior to this season, Zimmerman was in a steady decline and was facing numerous injury issues. The 2009 All-Star had missed a large chunk of the 2014-16 seasons. In the three-year span, he only played in 55 percent of the regular season games and was passed around from third, to left field, and eventually placed at first.

Last season in 115 games, he had one of his worst performances of his career. As a starting first-baseman, he had career-lows in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Take away his first season (20 games) and 2014 (61 games) and those career-lows grows to include doubles, RBIs, and total bases. 

Back in 2006, he was the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting to Hanley Ramirez and was named a Silver Slugger in 2009 and 2010. 

Now, it's still early in the 2017 season and it would be ridiculous to expect Zimmerman to keep up this pace as the season goes on. However, he is the early contender for NL MVP and, barring any setbacks, should be able to hold on to consistent numbers throughout the year.

One thing that Nationals fans can sure hang their hat on though, is that the former first round pick is back on track in being one of the best players in not only the National League, but the majors as well. 

MORE NATS: Bullpen blows another late-game lead

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.