Washington Nationals’ Ian Desmond Still Not a Top MLB Shortstop

By Brian Skinnell
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday afternoon, Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond was awarded his second career Silver Slugger award. Some around the D.C. area are now proclaiming that Desmond has been validated as one of the best shortstops in baseball, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.

Desmond was certainly deserving of the award given to the best offensive player at each position. He hit 20 home runs, 80 RBIs and finished with a batting average of .280 in 2013. On the bases, he was solid with 21 stolen bags and 77 runs scored. Desmond beat out Colorado RockiesTroy Tulowitzki and Milwaukee BrewersJean Segura for the award.

Even though he’s won the Silver Slugger award for two straight years, that’s still no reason to call him on of MLB’s best shortstops. Tulowitzki, Atlanta BravesAndrelton Simmons and Los Angeles DodgersHanley Ramirez certainly make quite a case for that title.

The one thing that Desmond’s resume is lacking is a Gold Glove award. While he does have an All-Star Game appearance under his belt, not having a Gold Glove award really hurts him in the conversation. Also, he’ll need a better finish than 16th in the MVP voting.

Numbers aside, Desmond’s performance in the field needs to become more consistent. Desmond is more than good enough to make the web gem plays, but he’ll need to eliminate the mistakes. Through the first couple months of the season, he led all shortstops in errors. He’s not a bad shortstop, but is prone to mental lapses.

While it’s not time to label him as one of the league’s best, he’s certainly making a strong argument. Desmond has been slowly on the rise over the past couple of seasons, and don’t be surprised if he completely takes over the MLB world at shortstop in 2014. In the very near future, Ian Desmond will be labeled one of, if not the best shortstops in MLB.

As for right now, he’s still behind a couple other guys for that title.

Brian Skinnell is a freelance sports writer for RantSports.com and contributor at Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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