Story courtesy of NIU Sports Information
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois designated hitter Jeff Zimmerman was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American Team, selected by Collegiate Baseball, the newspaper announced Wednesday.
Already fully entrenched in NIU baseball lore as the program's first Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, Zimmerman continues to add to his budding list of accomplishments in just his first season on campus. By being named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, he became the ninth in program history to receive the prominent honor. The last to do so was Jordin Hood in 2007.
"Jeff had a fantastic season in his first year in collegiate baseball," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey, who has coached four of the Huskies' nine Freshmen All-Americans. "He put up some pretty impressive numbers especially when you consider this is the first year of the bat change. It's a well-earned award for Jeff. I'm very proud and happy for him. It's also great recognition for NIU baseball. The fact that it's a freshman award is exciting because that means he has a few more years left with us."
The Tinley Park, Ill., native is one of 104 freshmen designated by Collegiate Baseball's list. Furthermore, he is one of seven designated hitters and is the only MAC representative.
Starting 55 times in 56 games played, the First Team All-MAC choice was a paramount factor in NIU producing its fourth-highest win total (30) in program history. He led the Huskies with 11 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage, tied for the team lead in RBI (47) and was second in batting average (.326). The freshman sensation also paced the club with 15 multi-RBI games. His homer and RBI totals rank at the top of the list for all-time freshman seasons at NIU. His 13 doubles rank second.
Overall, Zimmerman's 11 long balls rank fourth on the NIU all-time single season list. Among the MAC this season, he ranked second in home runs, sixth in RBI and seventh in slugging percentage (.517). Around the country, as of June 7th, he ranks 69th in homers.
With his initial Huskie campaign under his belt, Zimmerman is currently playing with the Hannibal Cavemen in the Prospect League, a summer collegiate wooden bat league. In Hannibal, Mo., he is joined by teammates Jake Hermsen and Trey Lang as the trio is developing and already preparing for the 2012 season.