Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Mlb-nationals-tigers-jun
From 2009-2011, Ian Desmond hit 22 homers in 1,302 plate appearances. In 2012 he hit 25 in just 547. What changed? For starters, Desmond’s fly ball rate corrected a two-year slide, rebounding to 34.5%, and he made those fly balls count, muscling 18.2% of them over the fence. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do for an encore.Contributing to Desmond’s breakout from borderline top-200 player to 34th overall in fantasy was his surprising .292 average. He doesn’t have a very good K:BB ratio (last year it was his usual sub-par 4:1), but in each of his three full seasons he’s increased his line drive rate and decreased his infield fly rate. Desmond is slowly improving, and in my mind the biggest question relating to his fantasy value over the next few years isn’t, “How many homers will he hit?” but rather “How does he fit into a top-heavy Nationals lineup?”At a GlanceStrengths: SBNeutral: R, HR, RBI, BA, SLG, OPSWeaknesses: OBPPlayer ComparisonsBest-case scenario: Hanley Ramirez (LAD)Likely scenario: Ben Zobrist (TB), Brett Lawrie (TOR), Aaron Hill (ARI)Worst-case scenario: Michael Saunders (SEA)Ian Desmond 2013 Fantasy ProjectionIt seems that Desmond, once a very raw player, is rapidly refining his game. Those who expect him to regress towards his .253 average in 2011 aren’t looking at the whole picture. While I’d be a little surprised if he repeats with another .290+ mark, he certainly could end up in the .280s.Harking back to Desmond’s homers again, let’s use one of the web’s best baseball tools to analyze his chances at repeating. HitTrackerOnline.com actually tracks the distance, speed, and trajectory of every home run hit around the league. Below is the landing spot of all of Desmond’s homers from the last three seasons overlayed on Nationals Park. You’ll notice last year he actually started showing power to the opposite field, a great sign that his homers are the result of skill and not luck. I’m not ready to say he’ll hit 25 again, but I think 18 should be very easily doable.At a shallow position, Desmond should provide some very nice numbers. Because of the uncertainty surrounding his batting average I would call him a safer play in H2H leagues than roto, and he takes a hit in OBP leagues where his low walk rate might make it difficult for him to top a .325 OBP.(click to enlarge)Desmond’s homers for the last three seasons. Notice how last year he used the whole field, a great sign that the power returns in 2013. Images courtesy of HitTrackerOnline.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Milwaukee Brewers fire manager Ron Roenicke

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

WATCH: ESPN reporter calls first First Take a 'train wreck'

Mike Trout criticized for tweet about Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Early 2016 NFL Draft prospect rankings

Life without Love: The new-look Cavaliers

Wizards deserve credit for win, but don't read too much into it

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

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.