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Desmond wins 2nd straight Silver Slugger Award

Nov 6, 2013, 6:31 PM EST

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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).

  1. David Proctor - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Desmond’s price is going up, up, up. He’s now proven 2012 was no fluke. There’s no reason to not lock him up this winter. The longer we wait, the more expensive he gets. And we can’t afford to lose him. Quality SS’s are very, VERY hard to find.

    • Sonny G 10 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      And worth every penny he gets! :)

    • alexva6 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      fyi, sometimes the player does not want to be extended.

      • NatsLady - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        Not sure if that will apply to Desi, but Rizzo will have his hands full with Jordan Zimmermann.

  2. Section 222 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Awesome. And an embarrassment that he didn’t make the ASG this year. For shame voters, and player/coaches.

    • nats128 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      No kidding. An absolute snub.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        That snub ruined my All Star prediction as I has Desi, JZim and BHarper. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad but 3 out of 3 would’ve been real nice.

    • Sonny G 10 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      +1

      • nats128 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Sonny, I think you are a +3

      • Sonny G 10 - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        Well, thank you nats128

  3. Section 222 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Lots of quality shortstops out there. Not that many who can hit though!

  4. kirbs3256 - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Kinda Crazy that Troy T LEAD ALL SHORTSTOPS in at least 4 catagories and played 32 less games. we need to lock up Dezi NOW…he is quickly inching toward a $100 mil contract.

    • David Proctor - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Troy Tulowitzki has an OPS that’s 100 points higher at home than on the road. I’d be very interested in seeing him in another ballpark. He’s talented for sure but those home/road splits make his numbers highly inflated. Imagine Desi in a place like Coors?

      • nats128 - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Even the bat boy is better in Coors.

  5. trochlis318 - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    gonna be honest, desi didn’t deserve it as much as we all love him, should have gone to tulo, but werth not getting it over Bruce, and Cuddyer, is a disgrace.

    • NatsLady - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Tulo lost out because he was injured and lost playing time. I figure Werth lost out for the same reason–it’s those old “counting” stats (including WAR).

      • Section 222 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        That could be the case, but it’s the coaches and managers voting. They don’t seem like the WAR types, generally. I think Werth probably lost out because people remember Bruce beating them with extra base hits (he led the NL in them, and had 30 HRs). Werth had a great year statistically, but his walks and singles didn’t crush the opposition’s spirit they way Bruce did.

  6. natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Also the cigars, I would imagine. :-)

    Congrats to Desi. Just saw this as we were at a memorial service yesterday evening.

    • natsfan1a - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Um, ^ that’s not where this comment was supposed to go. Oh well. That’s baseball for you.

  7. NatsLady - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Off-topic. Here is a detailed comparison of Scherzer and Price with regard to trade value. Bottom line, they are fairly equal, except that Scherzer has one year of team control, and Price has two years before free agency.

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/63744980

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Can’t give up a lot for Scherzer IMHO without getting an extension because he’s a 1 year rental. With that said, Rizzo worked it very well on Gio with a sign/extend deal. 2 years of Price is substantial.

      The good news with both players is if you lose them to FA you would get a comp pick back which as the Cardinals found with Wacha, sometimes those are hidden gems.

      • NatsLady - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        Exactly. And that Scherzer is a one-year rental is what might make him affordable, in contrast to Price. OTOH, the Tigers are in “win-now” mode–as are we. Can”t see them giving up Scherzer–they too can get the draft pick if they keep him another year. Same reason I don’t see us trading Clip, the 2nd best setup guy in MLB, and a model of consistency.

    • Section 222 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Interesting article. Thanks for posting it. It will be interesting to compare the deals that finally get made for these two, if they are in fact traded. I can’t imagine any team that trades for them allowing them to enter free agency one or two years from now. Given that, is the fact that Scherzer will be a FA after a year and Price after two all that significant a factor?

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    If Tigers take Clippard and a low level pitcher for Scherzer, then I will trade for him. I am not trading away giolito, cole, etc for his one year.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      It won’t come that cheap. It will cost Rizzo either Det or TJord or Roark in addition in my opinion.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Clip and RD for Scherzer? I will do that trade.

  9. adcwonk - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Bad timing comment of the day from yesterday:

    At the plate, there are different sides to the aggressiveness coin. E.g., Desmond has been “aggressive” at the plate for four seasons. And mostly has a lot of bad counts and Ks to show for it.

    I responded that Ian had won a silver slugger last year. So, I need to update my answer ;-)

    • Theophilus T.S. - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Desmond: 145K in 158 games — and that’s mostly hitting in the lower half of the lineup. Why shouldn’t I wish he could put the ball in play 30-35 more times?

      • adcwonk - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Sure you can wish that. Although we don’t know if that will make him a less effective hitter or not.

        It was the “mostly has a lot of bad counts and Ks to show for it” that bothered me — because while he does have a lot of K’s to show for it, he _also_ has two silver slugger awards to show for it. That shows extreme success as a result of his aggressive style. I’m not sure I want to mess with that.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Congrats to Desi. Not sure he deserved it over Tulo, then again werth should have won.

  11. adcwonk - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Tulowitzki’s awesome splits (and by “awesome” I mean: the awesome difference between home and away):

    In Coors Park: .342/.427/.582/1.010
    Everywhere else: .281/.352/.498/.850

    Interestingly enough, however, Ian hit 75 points better at home than away! What’s up with that?!

    (BTW, Desmond was 7-for-10 at Coors field (!) with 5 RBI’s)

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I believe it has been argued before that players in general tend to hit better at home than road.

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/masahiro-tanaka-the-markets-best-starter/

    the article itself is pretty good and contains couple of external links in comments that are very elaborate about tanaka.

  14. trochlis318 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    honestly people, would you guys do a kobernus, jordan, moore, and goodwin for Scherzer, no one that big named but still good usuable players none the less, i think it comes down more to the question of woudl you perfer a team with half producing 6 WAR and the other half zero, or everyone producing 3. i personally would perfer the 6-0-6-0

    • adcwonk - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      I think in the long run a 3-3-3-3 gets you 12 extra wins. And so does a 6-0-6-0.

      On the other hand, with 6-0-6-0, you can then try to improve your 0 spots (much easier to improve two 0 spots than 4 3 spots). So, actually, I tend to agree.

      But that’s exactly why I can’t see how the Tigers would go anywhere near that offer.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Taylor Jordan wasn’t on my radar until Harrisburg and I’ve enjoyed watching his progression. He is a less refined version of Jordan Zimmermann and it would be a mistake to throw him into a deal. TJord has 6 more years of team control and since he is a sinker pitcher is more valuable in smaller parks and playing with a top infield defense. If he perfects the cutter and refines the slider he may be a teams #1.

      On the Nats TJord is a potential #3 or #4 but don’t let that fool you as he will show us what he truly is in Spring Training. Again, he could easily be a 3.25 ERA pitcher with better defense. Flash back to ST 2009 when JZim dazzled everyone. I’m in wait and see on TJord. If he’s worked hard this off-season like I’m hoping, he can make the Nats rotation.

      If it was me, I wouldn’t make a trade except for LaRoche. Otherwise stand firm and develop what the Nats have and if you want a pitcher do it through FA and get Ricky Nolasco.

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