Heading into the 2014 season, many fans knew that much of the Washington Nationals‘ success would hinge on the bats of players such as Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. Being that these players make up three of the top five spots in the Nationals’ batting order, it is to no surprise that the team would rely on them. One player that has provided the Nationals with consistent play so far this season, however, is not one of the aforementioned players, and that player is shortstop Ian Desmond.
Going into the year, many analysts expected a lot out of Desmond. He had a great season in 2013, hitting .280 with 20 HRs and 80 RBIs. His batting average was good for fifth among shortstops in the MLB, and he ranked second in RBIs and tied for third with his home run total among MLB shortstops.
Desmond came through in the clutch for the Nationals today against the Atlanta Braves, hitting the go ahead and eventual game-winning home run in the seventh inning. In a game where Harper did not play, Desmond picked up the slack for the Nationals.
The home run was Desmond’s second of the season. He is currently hitting .250 with two home runs and three RBIs this year. These numbers don’t exactly pop out at you, but they are impressive given his batting position (sixth) and for how early it is in the season.
Desmond’s success will greatly help a Nationals lineup that is already extremely talented from top to bottom, especially in days where Harper, their star player, does not play. If Desmond can continue to live up to the expectations that were placed upon him in the preseason, the Nationals will go a long way this year.