Friday, October 4, 2013
Best Seasons: Jeff Zimmerman - 1999.
Number 29 on the list is Jeff Zimmerman's 1999 effort. Zimmerman, seen here on card 447 of the 2000 MLB Showdown set, had his career cut short due to injuries but that was still in the future in 1999.
The 26 year old rookie blasted into Major League baseball in 1999 as the setup man for Rangers closer John Wetteland. He appeared in 65 games and pitched a bullpen leading 87.2 innings. His ERA totaled to 2.36, the lowest on the pitching staff. His 0.883 WHIP was a team best by far. His strikeout to walk ratio was 2.91. Even serving as a late-inning guy he ended up with a 9-3 record.
I wasn't paying much attention to baseball when Zimmerman made his arrival but I remember hearing about him. My grandfather was impressed and mentioned him several times as "the new kid in the bullpen." Apparently he wasn't the only one impressed. Jeff made the All-Star team and came in third for the Rookie of the Year. Not too bad for a reliever.