Zimmerman Becomes First Former Cavalier Named MLB All-Star
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia baseball standout Ryan Zimmerman has been named to the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Zimmerman, a third baseman for the Washington Nationals, is the first former Virginia baseball player to earn a spot in the Midsummer Classic.
The All-Star Game will be played July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Zimmerman was voted into the game as a reserve by his peers.
Zimmerman is off to the best start of his career, batting .293 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI through Sunday. He posted a 30-game hitting streak earlier this season, the longest streak in Major League Baseball in 2009.
Zimmerman joined Rico Carty and George Sisler as the only players since 1900 to hit in 30 consecutive games this early in a season. He currently leads the National League in at bats (324), ranks fourth in runs (55), seventh in hits (95) and doubles (22) and 10th in total bases (156). He has played in all 80 games for the Nationals this year.
Zimmerman played at Virginia from 2003-05 and still ranks fourth in career batting average at .355. A 2005 All-American, Zimmerman also ranks sixth in career hits (250) and doubles (47) and ninth in RBI (140). He was taken by the Nationals with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft and skyrocketed to the majors, making his first big-league appearance later that season.
In addition, former UVa infielder Mark Reynolds, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been named one of five finalists in the MLB All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote, which gives fans the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting on MLB.com continues until 4 p.m. ET Thursday.
Reynolds is enjoying his best season as well, batting .269 with 24 home runs and 61 RBI. He ranks second in Major League Baseball in homers, tied with San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez and behind only St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols. He also is seventh in MLB in RBI and tied for sixth in total bases (171).
The other National League Final Vote candidates are Cristian Guzman (Nationals), Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Pablo Sandoval (Giants) and Shane Victorino (Phillies).
Reynolds played at UVa from 2002-04 and still ranks second in career home runs with 35 and ninth in total bases with 339. He was drafted in the 16th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks and made his major-league debut in 2007.