Former NIU Baseball Star Invited to Arizona Fall League - – Rockford’s News Leader

Former NIU Baseball Star Invited to Arizona Fall League


Former Northern Illinois baseball player and current minor leaguer Jeff Zimmerman (2011-13) was selected to participate in the Seattle Mariners organization's instructional league this fall, working with various coaches and consultants in the Mariners organization. Zimmerman is currently participating at the Mariners Spring Training facility in Peoria, Ariz. Players are selected for the camp based on their professional potential.

"This is a great thing for Jeff. After the year he had in the Appalachian League this past summer, this can only improve his game," said Head Coach Ed Mathey. "Jeff is a guy who enjoys playing the game of baseball and this is an opportunity for him to soak up all the tips and information they give to him like a sponge."

Zimmerman was selected in the 19th round of last June's Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Mariners, becoming the first position paler drafted by the Huskies since shortstop Bobby Stevens in 2008. The Tinley Park, Ill. native recently completed his first season for the Pulaski Mariners as designated hitter and first baseman, where he carried a .305 average, hit five home runs, 10 doubles and led the team in runs batted in at 39 in 174 plate appearances.

Through the entire Mariners farm system, the former Huskie accounted for the fourth-highest batting average in the minor league ranks and was fifth in slugging percentage (.494).

Zimmerman shipped out to Arizona on September 14th to participate and talked about what is upcoming for him at the camp.

"You get a lot of one-on-one individualized attention between the coaches and the players," said Zimmerman before he flew out to Arizona. "Being able to pick their brain and being able to learn from them is an honor."

Zimmerman explained a time when one of the consultants, former Seattle Mariner Alvin Davis, approached him before a game and told him to "try this with your swing." Zimmerman said he tried it and that night he homered and drove in five RBI.

"These guys have been there. Most of them have played in the major leagues for a significant amount of time so you can learn certain aspects of the game a lot better. You just get a lot of experience out of it," said Zimmerman.

He is roughly 1-of-50 prospects in the Mariners organization to participate in this year's instructional league.
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