Having watched and backed Jordan Zimmermann from the time he was drafted, there's little doubt as to who would be my favorite Washington National to watch if anyone was to ask. The 26-year-old '07 2nd Round pick has quietly grown into one of the league's best starters over the last few seasons and after his eighth start of 2013 earlier this week in Los Angeles, the Nats' right-hander has a 1.69 ERA (6th in the NL), a 2.64 FIP (6th), a (7-1) record (1st in Ws), nine walks (1.38 BB/9) which is the 5th lowest BB/9 in the NL and 39 Ks (5.98 K/9) to go along with the highest GB% (Ground Ball Percentage) of his career and a .230 BABIP against, which is the 5th lowest BABIP in the National League. He's got to be considered a part of any conversation about the best pitchers in baseball at this point, and he's a pitcher that current GM Mike Rizzo championed before Zimmermann was selected out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens point back in 2007.
As then-general manager Jim Bowden told it on his MLB Network Radio show back in 2011, there was a serious disagreement in the Nationals' draft room over Zimmermann amongst the scouts employed by the team at the time, with Rizzo, then Bowden's Asst. GM, arguing along with current Scouting Director Kris Kline that Washington should take the right-hander where Washington eventually did, with the 67th overall pick. According to Mr. Bowden, Rizzo assured him at the time that when it came to Zimmermann, "'The one thing we know is that [Zimmermann] is going to be in the rotation in the big leagues fast and he's going to be at least a three starter in the middle. He's gonna get there and he's gonna get there quick.'" Six seasons later, Zimmermann's not only one of the Nationals' best, but also one of MLB's top starters. What's not to like?
Which brings up to the titular TiqIQ contest. Who's your favorite National and why? If you follow the link below and answer that question af TiqIQ's Facebook contest page, you can potentially win, "$100 in Ticket Credit + 44% OFF for ANY GAME from our partners at TiqIQ.com. So who's your favorite National? Zimmermann? Jayson Werth? Ian Desmond? Kurt Suzuki? Denard Span? Stephen Strasburg? Ryan Zimmermann?
• Necessary notes: As it says right on the front of the contest page:
Privacy: By entering this contest, you agree to receive personalized ticket deals from our contest partner CrowdSeats.com in addition to weekly live event recommendations from us (TiqIQ). We are serious about protecting your privacy and will never disclose your information to a third party not affiliated with this contest.
TiqIQ Contest Rules: TiqIQ will select a winner from a pool of contestants that have successfully submitted the form above and posted a unique response on our contest Facebook post. Winners will receive $100 USD in total ticket credit to any event available on www.crowdseats.com. A minimum of 50 contest entrants are required to win.
• Just wanted to include the information above so it wouldn't be necessary for the public advocates among us to note such things. Enter if you're interested and congratulations if you win.