Ian Desmond’s 2015 campaign has not gone the way the 29-year old shortstop hoped entering the season. Having turned down a reported 7-year, $107 million contract after the 2012 season, Desmond banked on himself to outperform that contract and land a max deal in free agency after this season.
Following the Washington Nationals 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 19th, Desmond sat at an all-time low. Through 87 games, the three time Silver Slugger was hitting an abysmal .204/.248/.324 with only seven home runs and had 104 strikeouts. Nothing seemed to be working for Desi, and he came into the three game series with the New York Mets still looking for answers.
Then something clicked.
Whether it be a result of receiving advice from an all-time great, or improving his approach at the plate, Ian Desmond is now on fire. Since the start of play on July 20th, Desi is on a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-19 (.526) with four home runs, eight runs scored, four walks, and only five strikeouts. He has jumped up to the second highest home run total on the team (11), and has played errorless baseball during that stretch.
Yes, this is a six game sample size we are talking about here and there is still plenty of baseball left. However, Ian Desmond is not a .204 hitter. While he has looked awful at the plate for most of the season, there had to be a point in time where his numbers would progress toward the mean. He may not remain this hot for the rest of the season, but it isn’t overzealous to believe that his season could be salvaged.
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His sudden rebirth at the plate may be coming just at the right time for the Nats, as fellow slugger Anthony Rendon played last night for the first time since June 24. Plus, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Zimmerman will both be returning off the disabled list soon, with Denard Span not too far behind. A full Washington lineup can be one of the most formidable offenses in the National League, and a contributing Desmond would make it all the more daunting.
Ian Desmond is back Natstown, and you better believe it. The shortstop will once again be a rock in the Nats’ offense, and they will ride his success for as far as it takes them. So buckle up Washington D.C., because the Pennant Race is upon us, and Ian Desmond is taking us for a ride.