Nov 10, 2012, 6:58 PM EST
|Photo by AP|
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond had by all accounts a breakout season for Washington in 2012. He upped his batting average and power numbers significantly, and in turn cut down on errors which had always been his most glaring flaw. The combination of improvements he made turned him into a National League All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove finalist.
Desmond was one of the best players on the N.L. East champion Nationals and, with a closer look at the numbers, may have been the best shortstop in the majors in 2012.
Take a look at Desmond’s 2012 stats and where they rank in baseball among shortstops:
.845 OPS – 1st in MLB
.292 BA – 3rd in MLB (1st in NL)
25 HR – 1st in MLB
73 RBI – 2nd in MLB
21 SB – 7th in MLB
72 R – 7th in MLB
Tops in the league in homers and OPS, and with 21 stolen bases to complement, no one at the position provided the tools Desmond did in 2012. He, at least at the moment, is arguably the most versatile shortstop in the majors.
Desmond reaching this height was aided by several factors. For one, Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins are older and not the MVP’s they used to be. Jeter and Rollins both had solid years, especially for their age, but Desmond’s youth gives him better range and a higher upside. Desmond also posted his numbers despite missing 32 games to an oblique injury.
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