Ian Desmond, SS

Hitting: Desmond is a borderline free swinger at the plate. He has a solid knack for making contact with the ball despite his free swinging tendencies.

Power: He has average power in his bat. In 2009 he hit 6 home runs in 170 at bats at Double A Harrisburg, and 1 HR in 178 at bats in Triple A Syracuse. Once promoted, he proceeded to hit 4 Home Runs in 82 at bats with the Nationals.

Running Speed: Below average base runner, but has excellent speed.

Bat Speed: Exceptional

Arm Strength: Exceptional as it ranks 65 on the 20 to 80 scale.

Fielding: Has a great ability to charge ground balls and reads the ball very well off the bat. Dribblers very rarely get by him.

Range: Exceptional as he uses his speed very well to get to the balls.

Strengths: Desmond has exceptional bat speed, and his defense is exactly what any major league team would look for in a shortstop.

Weaknesses: Desmond has shown more patience at the plate, but he still tends to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone. While Desmond’s arm strength is a major plus, it can hurt him at times because he tends to sling the ball too hard which results in many errors. He is criticized for overthrowing the first baseman on occasion.

After hitting .251 at Double A Harrisburg in 2008, Desmond rebounded big in 2009 hitting .306 in 3 months. It resulted in a promotion to Triple A Syracuse. He did not disappoint and continued his hot streak by hitting .354 in 55 games. The Nationals decided he was worthy of a promotion to the majors where he took the league by storm by going 2 for 4 with a double and home run in his debut. He reached base safely in 16 of his first 21 games for the Nationals while hitting .280. He had 7 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 home runs in 82 at bats during his stint.

Desmond likely has the starting gig at shortstop for the Nationals in 2010, replacing Cristian Guzman. The Nationals are attempting to trade Guzman, but his larger contract coinciding with diminishing talent are putting strains on the possibility. If he is not dealt, the Nationals plan to move him to second base, solidifying Desmond’s chances at playing shortstop.

Desmond’s MiLB profile

“Nats Should Let Desmond Sink or Swim at Short” – an article posted by Dave Nichols from the Nationals News Network

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