Nov 6, 2013, 6:31 PM EDT
Ian Desmond no longer is recognized only in Washington as one of baseball’s best shortstops. The rest of the sport clearly recognizes it, too.
Desmond won his second straight Silver Slugger Award on Wednesday night, deemed once again the best offensive shortstop in the National League by managers and coaches.
One year after boasting three Silver Slugger winners (Desmond, Adam LaRoche and Stephen Strasburg), the Nationals took home only one award this season. Outfielder Jayson Werth, who hit .318 with 25 homers and a career-high .532 slugging percentage, made a case for himself but lost out to Andrew McCutchen, Michael Cuddyer and Jay Bruce.
Desmond’s lone competition at shortstop was Troy Tulowitzki, a two-time Silver Slugger himself who led all NL shortstops with 25 homers, 82 RBI, a .312 batting average and .540 slugging percentage. The Rockies’ star, though, played in only 126 games due to injury, a fact managers and coaches apparently held against him.
Desmond, who played in 158 games, ranked second among NL shortstops with 20 homers, 80 RBI and a .453 slugging percentage. His .280 batting average ranked third behind Tulowitzki and the Brewers’ Jean Segura, but he led his position with 38 doubles and 61 extra-base hits.
Once thought of as an overly streaky hitter who didn’t reach base with nearly enough regularity, Desmond has over the last two seasons blossomed into a complete offensive player. He earned his first Silver Slugger Award after hitting .292 with 25 homers and an .845 OPS in 2012, then came close to duplicating those stats this season.
Over the last two seasons, Desmond leads all NL shortstops in homers, doubles, hits, runs and RBI, catching the attention of the entire baseball community.
Desmond is one of five Nationals who have won Silver Slugger Awards since the franchise arrived in Washington, joining Alfonso Soriano (2006), Ryan Zimmerman (2009-10), LaRoche (2012) and Strasburg (2012).
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