The Case For Ian Desmond

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Here in Washington, we’re proud of our intelligent fan base. There are many bright people in our town, some who grew up with the game of baseball, some who have learned it on the fly over the last eight years. Regardless of which camp you fall into, we wouldn’t ask you to vote for something simply because we said so.

Enter, the Final Vote. You deserve a detailed, reasoned case for why Ian Desmond should represent the National League. That’s what we’re here today to give you.

To begin with, Desmond is the only Final Vote candidate who plays a premium defensive position. Everyone else on the list is either a corner outfielder or first baseman. Oh, and by the way, he plays it exceptionally well. Desmond’s 56-game error free streak at shortstop is the longest in baseball this year.

And despite that, he’s been a better hitter than anyone else on the list. This is not opinion – we’re saying this objectively. Take a deep breath, non-believers:

Desmond's had 56 straight error-free games earlier this year.

Desmond’s had 56 straight error-free games earlier this year.

Home Runs

Ian Desmond 15

Hunter Pence 13

Adrian Gonzalez 13

Freddie Freeman 9

Yasiel Puig 8

Doubles

Ian Desmond 23

Hunter Pence 22

Adrian Gonzalez 19

Freddie Freeman 16

Yasiel Puig 8

Extra-Base Hits

Desmond's 40 extra-base hits tops all Major League shortstops.

Desmond’s 40 extra-base hits tops all Major League shortstops.

Ian Desmond 40

Hunter Pence 37

Adrian Gonzalez 32

Freddie Freeman 26

Yasiel Puig 17

Hits

Ian Desmond 92

Hunter Pence 91

Adrian Gonzalez 91

Freddie Freeman 87

Yasiel Puig 50

But hey, if you’ve been following the Nationals all year, you already know this. You also know that 10 of those 15 home runs have put the Nationals ahead in a game. An extra-inning, game-winning blast to the upper deck at Cincinnati in April here, an extra-inning grand slam in Philadelphia there. You aren’t surprised that his .284/.326/.506 line goes up to .319/.359/.514 with runners on base.

Perhaps you’re a sabermetrician, your analytical skills as sharp as any in your friend group. You rely on Wins Above Replacement to tell you a player’s overall value. Well, you know where this is going:

WAR

Ian Desmond 3.0

Hunter Pence 2.6

Yasiel Puig 2.0

Adrian Gonzalez 1.6

Freddie Freeman 1.4

Maybe you’re one of those who thinks Yasiel Puig deserves more consideration because of what he’s done in such a short period of time, for how phenomenal the start of his career has been. We hear you. And we offer you this. The numbers since Puig’s Major League career began on June 3, 2013:

With his rare blend of power and speed, Desmond is just one of two Major Leaguers with at least 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

With his rare blend of power and speed, Desmond is just one of two Major Leaguers with at least 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Home Runs

Ian Desmond 8

Yasiel Puig 8

Adrian Gonzalez 6

Freddie Freeman 4

Hunter Pence 4

RBI

Ian Desmond 27

Freddie Freeman 20

Yasiel Puig 19

Hunter Pence 13

Adrian Gonzalez 12

Starting to get the idea? There are only two players in all of Major League Baseball with at least 15 homers and at least 10 stolen bases. One of them is Carlos Gonzalez, the number two National League outfield vote-getter, and a deserving All-Star. The other is Desmond.

There are 10 Major Leaguers with at least 40 extra-base hits. Only three of the 10 are not in the Midsummer Classic, only one of which who plays in the middle infield. Desmond, again.

He’s dynamic. He’s versatile. He’s tremendously talented and athletic. And he’s put together an excellent first half of the season, keeping the Nationals afloat until their lineup could return to full strength.

Make Ian Desmond the All-Star he rightfully deserves to be.

Vote #DesiIn13 by visiting nationals.com/vote or texting N1 to 89269

4 Comments

I’m glad someone mentioned good defense and his rocket launcher arm! Smoothest SS out there!

Pingback: Sarasota loves Ian Desmond | Half Street Heart Attack

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Pingback: There is a very disturbing thing about the All-Star vote | Half Street Heart Attack

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