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Is Ryan Zimmerman The Ultimate Franchise Player?

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Okay, the answer is, no. The answer to that question, still, is Albert Pujols or any host of pitchers. And frankly, a lot of you are probably scoffing right now for even posing the question. Especially you, out of town folk.

But is it really that crazy of a question? Is it really too much to include Zimmerman in the discussion? Actually, no. 

At least that's what Dave Cameron Fangraphs wrote today. Cameron, who is a much smarter baseball thinker than myself, argues that Zimmerman's unqiue combination of age, great hitting and outstanding defense should at least vault him into the discussion, past a lot of names people would bring up off the top of their head. Cameron proves his point with a lot of compelling stats I sort of understand, comparing him most closely to Evan Longoria and Hanley Ramirez, two names most casual fans would throw out ahead of him. 

It is splitting hairs to pick between them, but gun to my head, I think I'd take Washington's third baseman. Right now, he's the perfect blend, combining Ramirez's offense with Longoria's defense into one unbelievably good package.

If his teammates were more talented, he'd be have a strong case for the NL MVP right now. Zimmerman has truly become of the game's great young players, and the guy I'd point to if I could only take one player to begin a franchise.

Other than those two players, the only hitters worth considering ahead of Zimmerman are Pujols, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera and maybe Chase Utley. I guess there's also Troy Tulowitzki, Joey Votto and others, but ask yourself this honestly: why isn't Zimmerman in that tier? He's taken some time to go from being good to great, but it's clear he's made that leap. Maybe it's time to notice.

Stephen Strasburg may be the most recognizable National, but there should be no doubt that Ryan Zimmerman is the real face of the franchise.