Last fall, the Washington Nationals' then-26-going-on-27-year-old shortstop Ian Desmond won the first Silver Slugger Award of his career after a breakout campaign which saw the fourth-year pro selected by the Montreal Expos in the 3rd Round of the 2004 Draft 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 +5.0 fWAR. Desmond led all NL shortstops in HRs, AVG, SLG, ISO (.218), and wRC+ (128) in 2012.
Desmond repeated as the NL's Silver Slugger at short when he was announced as the winner for the second straight season tonight. The Nats' infielder, who turned 28 in late September, put up a .280/.331/.453 line with 38 doubles, 20 HRs and 80 RBIs in 158 games and 655 PAs this season over which he was worth +5.0 fWAR again, finishing second in HRs (behind Troy Tulowitzki's 25), first in runs scored (77), third in AVG, second in wOBA (.341), second in wRC+ (at 116 behind Tulowitzki's 143) and second in fWAR behind Tulowitzki's +5.6.
With 20 HRs and 21 stolen bases this season, Desmond became just the seventh shortstop in MLB history to put together two 20/20 seasons. When Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was asked late this season if Jayson Werth was the team's MVP, the Nationals' 70-year-old manager said there was competition. "'Hmm, there’s another guy that’s right there with him,'" Johnson told the Washington Post's James Wagner, referring, of course, to Desmond.
In a press release announcing that Desmond won the award, the Nats' shortstop said he was honored by the recognition:
"I play the game the way I do out of respect for the players who came before me," said Desmond. "It’s an honor to be selected for the Silver Slugger and it is humbling to know that it is voted on by National League managers and coaches."
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