June 8, 2013
Seattle Mariners MiLB Affiliates | 2013 Game by Game Stats | Career Stats
DeKALB, Ill. – Northern Illinois first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) was selected in the 19th round by the Seattle Mariners with the 567th pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft Saturday afternoon. He was the 28th first baseman selected in this year’s draft.
Zimmerman, a native of Tinley Park, Ill., is the first NIU first baseman since Eric Welsh was selected in the 12th round by the Cincinnati Reds in 1997. He is also the first Huskie junior drafted since shortstop Bobby Stevens in 2008 (16th round, Baltimore Orioles). Zimmerman is the 10th player drafted since 2003 under Mathey.
“This is a great thing for Jeff and his family. Everyone who plays baseball long enough has dreams of playing Major League Baseball and Jeff has a shot at that,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey. “It’s a bittersweet thing him being drafted because it could mean his senior season has already come. Obviously Jeff was a big part of our lineup the last three years and it would be tough to replace him.
“That being said this could be an opportunity for someone else the in the program to step up. It’s definitely been proven that guys develop for the next level here at Northern Illinois University so it’s a good thing.”
The NIU first baseman posted impressive all-around numbers in his junior campaign with a .321 average, 70 hits with 17 doubles, three triples and 30 RBI, all of which led Northern Illinois offensively. He also stole five bases this season with two sacrifice flies. Zimmerman had never recorded a triple until this season.
Most impressively at the plate, he reduced his strikeout total to 25 this season, after recording 45 in 2012 and 63 in 2011, en route to Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors.
Defensively, Zimmerman was at his best this season with only three errors during the season with 39 assists and 477 putouts, the second-most recorded in a single season.
Zimmerman was a second team All-Mid American Conference this season for his efforts as an at-large selection. He was a first team All-MAC pick as a freshman and also collected the conference's Freshman of the Year award after slugging 11 home runs and driving home 47 runs with a .326 effort.
In three seasons at NIU, Zimmerman is just eight hits shy of 200 and reaching the career top-10 in that category. He is already eighth all-time at NIU in total bases at 290 in his career. Zimmerman has also recorded a .306 batting average with 41 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 106 RBI with a career slugging percentage of .462 and an on-base percentage of .376.
Last summer, he was listed as a top-75 prospect in the Northwoods League by Perfect Game USA, following his season in which he tied the Madison Mallards career record for home runs in a season (13) and set the record for RBI in season at 57.