Nov 15, 2012, 8:58 PM EDT
|Photo by US-Presswire|
As the true breakout team of the 2012 MLB season, the Washington Nationals benefitted from a lot of players performing above expectations. The Nats saw injuries to nearly every key player early in the season and had to rely on depth and in some cases guys who weren’t intended to play major roles.
Along the way, several Washington players had what can be called breakout seasons. Some played above what was expected of them, and some finally reached the potential people always thought they had.
Here are a few that legitimately became break out stars for the Nationals:
SS Ian Desmond – .292/.335/.511 – 25 HR – 73 RBI – 72 R – 21 SB
The talent was always there with Desmond, but the shortstop didn’t put it all together until 2012. He cut down his errors in the field to become one of the game’s best defensive shortstops and raised his offensive numbers all around. Desmond lost out on the Gold Glove award, but won a Silver Slugger award and may get MVP votes. A case could also be made he was the best overall shortstop of the 2012 campaign.
SP Ross Detwiler – 10-8 – 3.40 ERA – 105 SO – 1.223 WHIP – 164.1 IP
Detwiler was the 6th overall pick in 2007 and before 2012 hadn’t established himself as the reliable starter Washington had hoped he would be. He wasn’t expected to be in the rotation at the beginning of the season and spent time in the bullpen, but through the year proved consistent and sometimes even dominant. His stellar playoff performance in Game 4 of the NLDS further guaranteed his spot as a core player for the Nationals in the future.
OF Bryce Harper – .270/.340/.477 – 22 HR – 59 RBI – 98 R – 18 SB
Considered a ‘can’t miss’ prospect, Harper was expected to be a good major league player. But being called up in April and thriving from the start was not predicted by many. The former number one overall pick immediately showed he belonged and finished the season as the National League Rookie of the Year. He had perhaps the best season ever for a teenage position player and could reach another level as soon as next season.
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