Jayson Werth rebounded from injuries in 2015 to play a big part in the 2016 success of the Washington Nationals. How did he fair in our report card?
As far as milestones go, his next home run with the club will be his 100th with Washington. Although we hope that happens at the start of next year at home, let’s take a look at his resurgent 2016.
Werth played a full schedule this year, logging 143 games and 606 regular season plate appearances. After two lackluster playoff series in 2012 and 2014, he hit a homerun and .389 in the Nats recent loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series.
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A right fielder for most of his career, he shifted to left in 2015 and remained there this year with Ben Revere or Trea Turner in center and Bryce Harper in right. Werth’s defense is nothing to get excited over. Below-average range and arm describes him best. Yet, he does not play every day because of those skills. He is there to hit.
Compared to an injury-plagued 2015, Werth bounced back well. If you look at his 2012 and 2013 campaigns, you would be disappointed. His 2016 slash line of .244/.335/.417 is average at best. His adjusted OPS+ of 99 is one percent below average in the NL. A free swinger, he fanned 139 times while grounding into 17 double plays.
At 37, his bat speed has decreased and so has his reaction time. Still, Werth pounded 21 home runs while driving in 69. His batting average increased 23 points from 2015 and his on-base percentage is 35 points higher.
Batting second between Turner and Harper at the end of the season, he gave enough protection to both, allowing Turner to steal bases and Harper the chance to drive them home.
As a fielder, he committed one error in the field while throwing out five runners from left. His range factor 1.59-per-nine in left is lower than the 1.80 league average. Werth’s defensive runs saved is -8, meaning eight runners scored that should not have. Defensive WAR is not kind either, scoring a -1.5.
All things considered he had a good year, playing a critical role in the Washington Nationals returning to the playoffs for the third time in five years. As the comic foil for MASN’s Dan Kolko, and a steady clubhouse influence, Werth’s true value is higher than what you find on his Baseball Reference page.
Werth has one more season under contract. He plays as well as this season, it will be money well spent.