August 7, 2012 at 9:24 am
Despite not actually saying it, I would think these two things a very linked. It would make sense that his willingness to take silder and cutters away from rhp to the opposite field for power instead of trying to pull them would lead to these improvements.
August 7, 2012 at 9:27 am
I guess Andrew Friedman didn’t think trading BJ Upton for this guy last season was a good idea. And now BJ is going to walk with no compensation. Fail.
August 7, 2012 at 9:39 am
His defense is also sabermetrically better, but in observations I attribute it mostly to Adam LaRoche. His ability to catch nearly everything Desi and Zimm thrown over there has made the left side of the infield seem much better. Desmond has always had the range and with LaRoche bailing out his errant throws appears to be a better defender.
August 7, 2012 at 9:39 am
Yeah, total FAIL. How could he have not predicted this exact occurrence 12 months earlier? I mean, everyone at that time was talking about Ian Desmond as a future breakout star and not a somewhat toolsy middle infielder with less-than-zero plate discipline. Meanwhile, all the Rays got with BJ Upton in CF last year was a playoff berth by the tiniest of margins after one of the most exciting playoff runs ever. In conclusion, Andrew Friedman is awful and they should really get rid of that guy.
August 7, 2012 at 9:41 am
Surprising? Unpredictable? Uh oh let’s cross our fingers.
August 7, 2012 at 9:43 am
“Desmond needs to retain those improvements to center and to the opposite field, because there’s no way that his 47.4% HR/FB rate to left is sustainable going forward.”
In other words, most of his improvement is in a likely unsustainable spike in HRs.
August 7, 2012 at 9:49 am
This article ignited my natitude.
Chris Cwik says:
August 7, 2012 at 9:50 am
THAT WAS TOTALLY THE POINT!
August 7, 2012 at 10:03 am
my girlfriend thinks because her name is nat that it’s okay for her to root for the nats.
August 7, 2012 at 10:12 am
Nats are playing some awesome ball. Hope they keep it up.
August 7, 2012 at 10:21 am
August 7, 2012 at 10:31 am
Looking into his LD /GB/ FB splits to left this year, it is about 2:6:2. Is it unusual to have LDs and FBs that close in terms percentage of contact to the pull field? Is the denominator in HR / FB just flies, or is it all balls in the air? Does having LD nearly equal to FB indicate when he hits a ball in the air to left, he has been squaring it up?
August 7, 2012 at 10:45 am
LaRoche’s contributions are overstated, at least with regard to Desmond. Ian has a very accurate arm and nearly always throws right to the target. Now, Zimmerman, on the other hand…
lester bangs says:
August 7, 2012 at 10:46 am
Every HR spike comes with a spike in HR/FB. Sometimes it is a player maturing. It’s funny how this is laughed off so often.
August 7, 2012 at 10:46 am
Sounds like plenty enough reason to me.
Well-Beered Englishman says:
August 7, 2012 at 10:56 am
But is she a Nasty Nat?
August 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Not sure if I’m reading the sarcasm correctly, but Desmond actually was talked about as a future breakout star last season. Being “somewhat toolsy” can easily translate to having significant potential. When Davey Johnson took over last year, he sang nothing but praises. Opposing managers, including La Russa, have done the same.
It’s not a scientific approach, but watching Desmond in 2010 and 2011 it was fairly clear that he had the ability to turn things around. Wasn’t clear he would turn things around, but that’s very rarely the case.
That said, catching one of his home run balls in 2010 probably makes my opinions totally hollow.
August 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm
Agreed. But, Desmond has always come off as a bit too “in his own head” as they say. I think the mental relief of throwing to LaRoche instead of Big Donkey Dunn shouldn’t be overlooked.
August 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm
I believe he could have predicted the relevant CBA rule changes 12 months ago. I also believe he knows/knew bj upton is not going to get any better, and that Desmond at least had a chance to. And I believe several other things could have gotten the team a few more wins last season, such as promoting Desmond Jennings earlier. Not trying to say I didn’t enjoy the hell out of game 162, but if he thinks the goal is making the playoffs and not winning the world series, I guess you have a point.
August 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Can’t stop thinking we could have had all this in Montréal…
August 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm
I hope MLB has improved their COC.
August 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Can you think of a middle infielder (or any player) with a profile like Desmond that has been a good hitter longterm? The best I could find was Woodie Held, but he actually dramatically improved his walk rate after looking a lot like Desmond early in his career. So I guess it is possible. Ian Desmond, the next Woodie Held!
August 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm
I’m pretty sure power was the only way for Desmond to keep his job since he won’t take a walk and strikes out too much to have a good BA, and he was further miscast as a contact-led, fast leadoff hitter. Before the injury, he’d stopped taking a step back a hop and throwing off the wrong foot, so I think there’s hope that he’s actually improved defensively too.
August 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm
Desmond isn’t “in his own head” because he’s clutch. In fact he encourages the Nats starters to pitch to contact and doesn’t cheat the game by taking walks. He’s a gamer.
All sarcasm aside, who did Desmond come off a bit too “in his own head” to? Did you meet him, have dinner together, play golf together regularly?
August 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Everyone is welcome on the Nattitude bandwagon. Nats fans welcome anyone who will improve the gate and/or TV contracts for the Nats.
August 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm
matt 1, diego 0
August 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm
at least she isn’t using that justification to drink natty ice
Juan Chapa says:
August 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm
The point to look at is how well he adjusts. I am sure pitchers will
pitch him different next year, trying to make him swing at pitches
that end up outside the strike zone. I don’t think he refuses to
take walks, but was just keyed on the strike zone, and the team
needed him to step up this year. Additionally, pitchers started
challenging him and he was up to the challenge. Eventually,
they’ll start pitching him differently. Hopefully, he will not fall
for their new strategy like Josh Hamilton has. Hamilton has been
making rookie in the batter’s box. Unfortunately, money players
are judged on how well they handle adversity. Hamilton doesn’t.
August 8, 2012 at 2:38 am
on the other hand, fail as a verb is one of the few things about internet speak that gets my goat. i’d +1 matt’s comment if it weren’t an ambiguous gesture.
August 8, 2012 at 4:01 am
this could help me in the show
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