Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Phillies_cb9c

From my Nationals season preview earlier today...

Burning Question
Is Jayson Werth going to live up to his massive contract this season, or continue to struggle?

As soon as the ink was dry on Werth's seven year, $126 million contract in December of 2010, fans from all across the country were crucifying the Nationals for overpaying Werth. The logic was that Werth would turn 32 during the second month of the 2011 season, and the contract would last for six seasons beyond that, well into his decline phase. Werth also had an injury history before arriving in Philadelphia prior to the 2007 season. Despite three straight 5.0+ fWAR seasons, many didn't think Werth would be able to do that with his new team.

Sure enough, they were right. Well, for the first season of the contract at least. Last season for the Nationals, Werth amassed just 2.5 fWAR over 649 plate appearances. He only hit 20 homers, his lowest total since his debut season of 2007 in Philadelphia. His OPS was a pathetic .719, which is fine for a middle infielder, but not a corner outfielder making $10 million (which will increase as the contract goes on). Nothing went right with his debut as a National.

Werth's decrease in power was his major slight with the Nationals. His ISO fell from .236 in 2010 to .157 in 2011. While his BABIP fell, as you'd expect it to, considering it was .352 in 2010, the .286 mark he posted in 2011 wasn't horrendously low. His walk and strikeout rates each went in the wrong direction, but not by an extreme amount. 

Looking at all of the relevant stats, I can't really pinpoint why Werth struggled last season. He didn't swing at more pitches in 2011, but did make more contact. The contact was different, as more balls were on the ground than in the air or on a line. Sometimes, a simple swing adjustment can switch that. But at the same time, it could be a more telling issue that deals with age. And if Werth's age is really becoming that much of a factor, he's not going to be the player the Nationals envisioned back when they opened the vault for him.

[follow]

{loadposition content4}

1 Comment:
  • I think Mets fans can see in Werth what they see and get from Jason Bay. Werth is going to be a disaster trying to live up to his contract. Think AVERAGE PLAYER in RF.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Geno Smith: Jets coaching change 'could be good'

Did Rex Grossman turn down Browns offer?

Wes Welker admits to feeling effects of repeated concussions

Report: Jim Harbaugh's decision down to Michigan or Raiders

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

Video: Vince Carter channels Vince-anity with big dunk

Video: Aqib Talib's amazing interception for a pick six

Alleged love child of Jerry Buss wants piece of family fortune

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wes Welker, wife confused over his concussions

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

Appreciating Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab TD celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch film about Manny Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.