Ian vs. the Other Options

December 1, 2009

The Nats have a chance to play the most exciting player they’ve brought up since the spring of 2009, Ian Desmond, as their starting SS in 2010. I put him as the most exciting since Jordan Zimmermann, but will soon lose that title to a certain starting pitcher whenever he arrives. Anyway, the point is that they have some options here, but I want to assume that one of those options is switched off. I am going to put Guzman at 2B, as the team and the coach have both explicity said that will happen. So at SS it’s either Desmond or an outside interloper.  Let’s start with the first option, playing Desmond.

Ian In

If he starts, one thing the Nats have is the chance to see a guy who has the potential to be a core member of this team for years to come. At 23 years old this year, he still has some work to do and some time to do it. He could go back to the minors to tighten up his game a bit, as it were. What is there left for him to do in the minors? Well in terms of hitting, maybe not much. In his short time in the majors, he hit .280/.318/.561, which looks great (ok the OBP is a tad low) but that power is based on 4 homers in 82 ABs. He had other extra base hits as well, 7 doubles and 2 triples, but in terms of keeping those numbers, he’d have to be a 25+ homer a year guy. That may not be realistic, so let’s take THOSE numbers with a grain of salt. His AA and AAA numbers should tell us more. In 2008, he spend most of his time in AA, and did alright, nothing special, hitting .251/.318/.406 over the course of the season.

Then all of a sudden he broke out in 2009, first hitting .306/.372/.494 in 189 PAs in AA, then smashing AAA, hitting .354/.428/.461 in 205 PAs. There may be nothing left to learn for him there, in terms of hitting, other than incremental help. He may get sent down to prove to the franchise that 2009 wasn’t a fluke, but if it was, it was quite a long fluke. Read the rest of this entry »