Jayson Werth Quietly Having MVP-Like Season For Washington Nationals

By Zach Morrison
Jayson Werth
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry Washington Nationals fans, Jayson Werth isn’t going to win NL MVP. That award belongs to Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

However, Werth has had an extremely good season for the Nationals and not enough people are talking about it. If the Nationals were closer to a playoff spot, Werth would probably be one of the top few candidates for the MVP award.

In 483 plate appearances over 117 games, Werth has a batting line of .322/.398/.536. It’s not Werth’s fault that the Nationals haven’t been consistent enough over the course of the 2013 season to find themselves in a position to make the playoffs. In fact, he’s been the biggest bright spot for them this season.

Ryan Zimmerman has had his struggles throughout the year, although he is playing extremely well right now. Stephen Strasburg has been good, but he hasn’t been the dominant pitcher we have seen before. Bryce Harper has missed time due to various injuries.

Werth’s 160 wRC+ leads the NL, with Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and McCutchen of the Pirates close behind. Werth ranks just 17th in the NL in fWAR probably because he is below-average defensively and on the bases.

In his first two seasons with the Nationals, and 2011 in particular, Werth didn’t live up to expectations. In 2012, he actually performed fairly well, but he missed a large portion of the season with an injury. In 2011, he hit only .232/.330/.389 with a wRC+ of 100, which is league average. It seems Werth is finally living up to the mega-contract he signed after leaving the Philadelphia Phillies in free agency following the 2010 season.

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