It’s starting to become a trend, Ian Desmond once again won the National League Louisville Silver Slugger award given to the top offensive player at each position.
Even though Desmond finished behind Troy Tulowitzki in HR, SLG% and OBP he was once again named the top offensive shortstop in the National League. After all, Tulo plays in Coors field where balls magically leap into the stands fueled by Rocky Mountain black magic or something of that nature.
Even if Tulowitzki may have been slightly more deserving it shouldn’t diminish what Desmond accomplished this year. Once a toolsy prospect whose defense and strikeout numbers frustrated both himself and Nationals fans, Desmond has quickly become an elite player posting 5.0 fWAR seasons each of the last two years. He’s even learned to lay off the first pitch every once in a while and upped his BB% this year by more than a full percentage point from 5.5% to 6.6% which helped keep his OBP nearly flat even though his batting average dropped by 12 points.
All of that aside, Desmond seems like a really good dude who’s nice to children and old people even when no one’s looking. Along with Jayson Werth, Desmond has become the de facto leader of the Nationals. Having just turned 28 years old Desmond is just entering his prime and while many will consider him a regression candidate, he could be even better in 2014.
Congratulations Desi! (Yes, I know he’ll probably never read this, but you never know.)