Jordan Zimmermann spent the summer of 2006 playing in the upper Midwest region as a member of the Eau Claire Express.
Eight years later, the current Washington Nationals' pitcher will be playing in the area again, this time as a member of the National League All-Star team at the 2014 Major League All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Major League Baseball announced Sunday the 2006 Express MVP was one of 13 pitchers selected to the National League team. It is the second consecutive season Zimmermann was selected to the Midsummer Classic.
After a slow month of April, Zimermann has been light's out, proving 2013 was no fluke. As it stands Monday, he is 10th in the NL with an ERA of 2.79. His 6-4 records includes two complete games, good for fourth in the league, and he also has 96 strikeouts in 109.1 innings of work. He was named the National League Player of the Week for the week of June 2-8. During that stretch, he had arguably his best start of his career, going all nine innings, allowing no runs on just two hits and striking out 12 in a win at the San Diego Padres on June 8. The start before that on June 2, he went eight innings and gave up just five hits while allowing no runs against the Philadelphia Phillies.
A season ago, the former UW-Stevens Point standout tied Adam Wainwright for the most wins in the National League after going 19-9. He had a 3.25 ERA, but he was unable to pitch in the All-Star Game in New York City due to a neck injury. This year, barring anything happening this week, he will be an option for National League manager Mike Matheny.
In 2006, Zimmermann toed the Carson Park mound and electrified the Northwoods League. He went 4-2 with a 1.01 ERA and a club record 92 strikeouts in 80.1 innings of work. Scouts came flocking to see Express games after learning Zimmermann was still throwing in the low to mid 90s in the seventh and eighth innings of ball games.
The Major League All-Star game takes place Tuesday at Target Field. Air time will start at 6:30 p.m. with player introductions while the game will start at approximately 7 p.m. It will be broadcasted on FOX.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.