Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Ian Desmond
In 2012, both the Nationals and Ian Desmond were coming off fantastic years. Desmond hit .292 and won the silver slugger on his way to his first all star team. The expectations coming into 2013 for Desmond was to become one of the complete shortstops in the game. He was projected to hit around .280 while hitting 18-23 home runs and drive in 75 plus, and especially getting his defense to a more stable level,. Desmond made 15 errors in 2012.
The predictions for Desmond were roughly correct, as he played the most games he has played in his career for a season. His average down to .280, but he still managed to capture his second straight silver slugger for the shortstop position. Desmond went right on with the predictions as he hit 20 home runs and drove in 80. The strikeouts, which went way down in 2012, sky rocketed in 2013 to 145, which was 7th among players in the National League. Also another thing that Desmond wanted to improve at was his defense, which took a step back in 2013. He committed 20 errors for the season. That total was the second highest in the NL for shortstops, although his fielding percentage went up from 2012.
Entering 2014, the expectations from a statistical standpoint are very interesting. According to Fan Graphs, Desmond is projected to hit .266 with a .742 OPS, which are both down from last year and his career averages. Also, the home run totals and RBI totals are projected to decline as well. A good sign, however, is that his strikeout rate is supposed to go down to 21.1%, which will help him get on base more and put the ball in play.