Oct 10, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) doubles in the fourth inning of game three of the 2012 NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Season Review: Ian Desmond


Ian Desmond wasn’t always expected to step it up at the Major League level. Drafted in 2004, he has already had eight years of professional baseball under his belt. In fact, I was looking through my old books and a 2010 version of John Sickels’ Baseball Prospect Book had Desmond as a C+ prospect. Not exactly filler but not exactly a future star.

2010 actually ended up being his first full Major League season and did not fare too badly. He was below average offensively, but had promise. In 2011, he actually was farther below average and seemed like a .260 hitter with 8-10 home run potential.

But, at the end of last year over the last two months, he hit .295 with 5 of his 10 home runs on the season. Signs of improvement were there. Then, in Spring Training, manager Davey Johnson grew concerned with Desmond’s approach. Whatever he did or didn’t do worked.

2012 Projection (ZiPS): .256/.304/.378, 10 HR, 57 RBI
2012 Actual: .292/.335/.511, 25 HR, 73 RBI

Desmond had his best season as a Major Leaguer leading all shortstops in homeruns with 25 and being a solidifying force at the bottom of the Nationals lineup. The improvement in power has gone on from August of last year through 2012 and seems similar to the signs that Jose Bautista had when he went from journeyman to the best home run hitter in baseball.

Suddenly, Desmond had been getting comparisons to the top shortstops in the game and his career took a turn for the better. That continued in the NLDS where he was the one consistently getting key hits when the rest of the Nationals were struggling. It was no longer smoke and mirrors, it was a definite improvement. If he can keep it going next year, the Nationals will have their shortstop for the future and present.

Season Highlight: September 4 against Chicago, Desmond went 2-5 with a home run and a double with 4 RBIs. The home run was his 20th of the season.

Previous Reviews:
Xavier Nady
Chien Ming Wang
Mark DeRosa
Henry Rodriguez
Carlos Maldonado
Brad Lidge
Ryan Mattheus
Ryan Perry
Rick Ankiel
Jesus Flores
Sandy Leon
Corey Brown
Christian Garcia
Jhonatan Solano
Mike Morse
Zach Duke
Tom Gorzelanny
Chad Tracy
Mike Gonzalez
John Lannan
Kurt Suzuki
Drew Storen
Wilson Ramos
Tyler Moore
Steve Lombardozzi
Jayson Werth
Craig Stammen
Tyler Clippard
Roger Bernadina
Sean Burnett
Ross Detwiler
Adam LaRoche
Edwin Jackson
Danny Espinosa
Ryan Zimmerman
Jordan Zimmermann
Stephen Strasburg
Bryce Harper
Gio Gonzalez

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