Nationals Baseball: A quick depressing offensive side note

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A quick depressing offensive side note

Here are where some of the Nats 2009 offensive seasons ranked in their careers (by OPS+)

Ryan Zimmerman - best of his career
Josh Willingham - best
Nyjer Morgan - best
Adam Dunn - second best
Adam Kennedy - best since 2004.

This is not saying that they all are going to regress significantly. Willingham and Dunn were not that far off what you'd expect. This was Morgan's first full time season. Zimmerman is young and good enough he might get even better. But it is possible that they could all go down a little and everyone taking a step back is as bad having a couple of key injuries. Who are they looking at then to maybe provide a spark by bouncing back from a bad year then?

Cristian Guzman - 4th best. (no seriously - look it up. He had a bunch of AWWWWWFUL seasons in the past)
To be fair his 2009 was way worse than 2008 or 2007. Still, he was above his career average and is going to be 32.
Pudge Rodriguez - worst.
But that was expected from a 38yr old catcher who hasn't had a good offensive year since 2004.
Elijah Dukes - Middle of 3 years.
First season playing more than half in the majors. He took a big step back from 2008.

Now do you see why Elijah is the key? If you don't believe he can bounce back a little to about average, the fate of the offense may rely on Guzman and Pudge having significantly better years. That's a AMC Fear Friday movie if I ever saw one (especially since they've aired Terminator 2 and Ghostbusters 2 in that spot. Seriously guys. Seriously.)

[Personally I like Zimmerman to have a better year and at least one of the three other main guys to match their 2009. That should be enough to stem the tide of the other ones dropping a bit unless one of Dukes or the Replacement-Level MI (Kennedy, Guzman, Pudge) is just truly useless. But a step back by the offense could happen and it shouldn't be a surprise]


Sec314 said...

I'm with you completely on this. The Nats lost a lot of games by 1 or 2 runs last year. The early pitching WAS atrocious, but many games were lost for failure to drive in runs.

I'm still hoping there's a trade in the works that moves Willingham. Maybe that will give JMax or Bernadina or someone an opening to blossom.

Bryan said...

"the fate of the offense may rely on Guzman and Pudge having significantly better years."

And a little part of me died.

Harper said...

Sec314 - actually the issues with driving in runs isn't bad because those things tend to even out. In other words, next year they probably will drive in those runs so that might counteract some of the on-base and slugging drops (if they happen).

Honestly I think it'll all wash and be pretty much the same offense. But anyone thinking that a full year of Morgan, Pudge, and Kennedy will make a big difference is fooling themselves.

Bryan - hopefully it wasn't an important part like your eyes.

Hoo said...

I'd throw out Morgan/Zim. Morgan b/c he's had 3 whole years in the big. He'll definitely regress some but it's not he's real established in the bigs. Zim b/c he's improving and has protection from Dunn.

I expect Dunn to regress some and hope WHam maintains it. But yeah, the key is Dukes and Guz not sucking. I think offense could be a little better and a lot better if Dukes plays well.

Detweiler has surgery today and out for 3 months. Why not have surgery in Dec or Jan? Gah.

phil dunn said...

The key to the Nats offensive success this year is Dukes. He either has a breakout year or he bombs out. I hope its the former. He needs money and he's eligible for arbitration next year so he has plenty of incentive to grow up.

Harper said...

Hoo - I'll go with that. Zimm has that level of potential that his best year is still not telling us anything concrete. Morgan, for all it's worth, is still a little bit of a mystery. Of course the same thing could be said for Dukes. It's not really a "bounce back" we're looking for. It's finding out he's actually an average talent

Harper said...

Phil - unfortunately he can grow up and still have issues hitting offspeed junk.