Sep 9, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielderJayson Werth
(28) celebrates with shortstop Ian Desmond (20) after scoring in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Best: Ian Desmond
And now we come to the main event.
Ian Desmond is not only the best shortstop in Washington Nationals’ history, but there is an argument to be made he is the best shortstop in the game today.
He is a 20/20 man for three straight seasons. Only five guys in the league can claim that honor in 2014, and Desmond is the only name on that list for three seasons in a rwo. He also pocketed Sliver Slugger awards for those seasons as well.
Named to the All-Star team in 2012, an honor he probably should have received in 2013 and 2014, Desmond has the numbers to back up all his accolades.
Since his rookie year with the Nats, Desmond has averaged .270/.317/.431 on top of his penchant for hitting homers and stealing bases. His only downfall is his absurdly high strikeout rate, which is at over 20% for his career and at almost 30% last season.
Ian Desmond also averaged over four wins for his team these past three seasons and Steamer projects Desmond at 2.9 WAR for 2015.
Desmond’s defense also comes to the yard. He has put up a UZR above 4 for the past few seasons, with a slight drop this past year due to 24 errors. I believe his throwing errors are partly due to his great range at the position. Often times, Desmond tries to make something out of nothing and ends up throwing an uncatchable ball as a result.
As far great players at the shortstop position, there is no question about it; Ian Desmond is the best in the business and the top shortstop in Washington Nationals’ history.