Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
The Washington Nationals continued to add hardware to their shelf this winter as first baseman Adam LaRoche, shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Stephen Strasburg won Silver Slugger awards tonight.
Adam LaRoche set a career high in home runs (33) and tied his previous high RBI total (100) in 2012 in the second year of his 2-year/$16M dollar deal with the Washington Nationals. Earlier this winter the 33-year-old, nine-year MLB veteran was awarded the first Gold Glove of his career for his defensive work at first for the NL East Champion Nats. Tonight the free agent first baseman took home the first Silver Slugger award of his career when he was named the top offensive first baseman in the National League.
LaRoche's 33 HRs led all NL first basemen, as did his 100 RBIs. LaRoche had the second-highest OPS (.853 behind the Cards' Allen Craig's .876 OPS), the second-highest ISO (.238 behind the Pirates' Garrett Jones at .242), the second-highest wRC+ amongst first baseman with 127 wRC+ to Craig's 138 and highest fWAR (+3.8 to the D-Backs' Paul Goldschmidt's +3.7). LaRoche carried the Nationals' offense at times and finished strong, putting together a .324/.390/.667, eight double, 10 HR September/October as the Nats battled their way to their first NL East title and the first postseason appearance by a D.C.-based team since 1933.
The Nats' first baseman wasn't the only player on the roster to take home a Silver Slugger Award in recognition of what he accomplished at the plate this season. 26-going-on-27-year-old Nats' shortstop Ian Desmond took home the first Silver Slugger of his career after a breakout year in 2012 which saw the fourth-year pro put up a .292/.335/.511 line with 33 doubles, 25 HRs and 73 RBIs in 130 games and 547 plate appearances over which he was worth an NL-best among shortstops +5.4 fWAR. Desmond led all NL shortstops in HRs, AVG, SLG, ISO (.218), and wRC+ (128).
It didn't stop there, however, as LaRoche and Desmond were joined tonight by Stephen Strasburg, who won his first Silver Slugger award after hitting for a .277/.333/.426 line in 2012 with four doubles and a home run in 53 plate appearances. The three Nationals join Alfonso Soriano (2006) and Ryan Zimmerman (2009-10) as the only five Silver Slugger winners in the franchise's history.