Found December 03, 2012 on
The Nats Blog:
Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez with about two posts per week until Spring Training. Enjoy.
If someone told you that a player who committed 57 errors and recorded a slash-line of .260/.303/.375 between 2010 and 2011 would be nominated for a Gold Glove, win a Silver Slugger, be selected to play in the All-Star Game, and potentially be the Washington Nationals’ MVP for the year they recorded the best record in baseball, you probably would have flatly called that person crazy.
But that is exactly the road that shortstop Ian Desmond has taken with the Nationals, from his first two full seasons in the majors to the season that earned him a GIBBY nomination for Breakout Hitter of the Year.
Of the Nationals qualified hitters, Desmond claimed the highest batting average (.292), slugging percentage (.511), most stolen bases (21) and fewest strikeouts (113). Aside from the strikeouts, which ticked up slightly from 2010 but were significantly lower than 2011, those numbers were all also career-bests for Desmond through a complete season. He also notched career-bests for runs scored (72), doubles (33), home runs (25) and RBI (73).
And the list of accolades goes on. Desmond was the only National to record a 20-20 season, despite being put on the DL with an oblique injury for nearly a month, and in perhaps one of his most distinguishing contributions to the team last season, Desmond was the Nationals’ most reliable hitter through the playoffs (going 7-for-19). Only Ryan Zimmerman recorded better numbers than he did with a comparable number of postseason at-bats.
Desmond’s proclivity to swing at the first pitch drew criticism from some who wanted to see him be more patient – he only walked 30 times all year – but as his success at the plate became more consistent, the critics became content to just watch as Desi hit three home runs and 11 doubles, and batted in 12 runs on the first pitch.
Desmond finished the year with an overall slash-line of .292/.335/.511, and was owner to several clutch moments, like his come-from-behind walk-off home run that broke the Nationals out of a five-game losing streak on May 2. The photo of Desmond leaping into a ecstatic group of celebrating teammates came to define the type of exciting season the Nationals played in 2012 and highlighted the impact Desmond had on DC’s favorite team.
Next year: At 27 years old, Desmond has plenty of years left in what promises to be an exciting career, and at least three of those years will be played in Washington. With Desmond under team control until 2016, Nationals fans can expect to see many more exciting moments produced by talented shortstop.
Up next: #21 Xavier Nady
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Left-hander Zach Duke has agreed to a one-year contract to stay with the Washington Nationals.
The NL East champions announced the deal with the free agent on Monday.
The 29-year-old Duke joined the Nationals as a minor league free agent in March, spending most of last season at Triple-A Syracuse. He was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in 13 2-3 innings over eight appearances as a reliever...
The hot stove is burning, and winter meetings start this week. There will be endless rumors of who is signing where and what player is available to be moved. One guy that seems to be on the block, according to multiple sources, is Nats second baseman Danny Espinosa. I’m not so sure he should be.
Espinosa certainly comes with his share of problems. Primarily, he led the National...
And so, after an inexplicable 2-year hiatus, the Nationals will be making like a real, live, MLB team and holding a Winter fan fest this year. Good deal. Tickets will be available online starting at 10:00 AM Thursday, December 6, 2012 at nationals.com/natsfest.
A person who knows stuff and is usually right told us the Nationals may or may not be looking to bring back former players...
Lidge is ready to retire. (MLB)
After several injury-riddled seasons and dealing with the loss of velocity on his fastball, it appears Brad Lidge is hangin’ ‘em up. Jayson Stark of ESPN broke the news via Twitter that Lidge, 35, will retire.
Last season, Lidge was cut by the Nationals after posting an ERA near 10 during his stint there. He was brought in for veteran leadership...
The Washington Nationals have reached an agreement with free-agent righthander Dan Haren, according to major league sources.
The deal is for one-year at $13 million and is pending a physical, said the sources.
The Angels previously tried to trade Haren to the Chicago Cubs for Carlos Marmol in early November, but the deal fell through. Afterward the Los Angeles Angels declined to...
The Tampa Bay Rays are discussing a potential trade with the
Nationals that would send one of the team’s starting pitchers, most likely
James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson, to Washington in exchange for Mike Morse,
Danny Espinosa and possibly more, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.
James Loney and Rays close to one-year deal....Loney would replace Carlos Pena at 1B...also...
A person familiar with the talks tells The Associated Press that free agent pitcher Dan Haren and the Washington Nationals are close to completing a one-year deal for $13 million.
The person spoke Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings under condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't finalized.
The Nationals had the best record in the majors last season. The NL East champions...
When the Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg in September, most of the collective baseball world felt the doom fall over the team. Sure, the team wasn't about to admit it. They were still a damn good team. But they were missing their ace, and they were heading into the playoffs without him. Ultimately, the Nats lost in five games in the Division Series....