Small hometown proud of Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann, P, Nationals
Hometown: Auburndale, Wis.

When people call Jordan Zimmermann "the pride of Auburndale, Wis.," it's not necessarily because others from the town have never done anything notable. There just isn't a lot of competition.

The 2010 Census -- taken three years after the Nationals drafted Zimmermann in the second round out of Division 3 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point -- pegged Auburndale's population at 860. Most, if not all, of the 313 households know Zimmermann in this everybody-knows-everybody kind of town.

Zimmermann was a three-sport athlete at Auburndale High, reaching the state tournament with the basketball team in addition to pulling double duty as a wide receiver and safety in the fall. He started his AHS baseball career as a catcher before coach Mark Brost moved him to the mound.

Before Zimmermann's senior season, Brost wrote to all 30 Major League teams telling them about this right-hander with a considerable ceiling. He received little response. Zimmermann walked on at nearby UWSP. He focused on solely baseball, and scouts started to notice.

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.