Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 Team Awards: Washington Nationals

MVP: Jayson Werth

I think we're ready now.

Mr. Werewolf Jayson Werth is the 2013 Washington Nationals team MVP. He played in just 129 team games and was worth 4.6 fWAR, making that monster contract just a bit more tolerable. That's probably not great news for the Nationals though - there's no way this guy can earn his keep two years straight right? They'll need him to do this again next year, and that's likely a lot to ask because Werth was phenomenal. A .319 average had him amongst league leaders in the category. Add in 25 homers, a .398 on-base, ten bonus steals and you have what would have been a monster year for Werth had he not missed any time.  He was also -9.0 fWAR defensively, so if he could have even been worth a little in the field of play he would have had a truly remarkable season. Still, he was able to beat out the likes of Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmerman, and Bryce Harper as most valuable Nat. And that's swell!

Now say "Werewolve Werth" ten times without screwing up as fast as you can!

LVP: Adam LaRoche
I watched enough Nationals games in 2013 to become annoyed with LaRoche on a weekly basis. And man was he poor. LaRoche was worth a whopping 0.6 fWAR and was allowed to play in 152 games this past campaign. He delivered to the Nationals a .237/.332/.441 and went home. If you want to know why the Nationals took a step back in 2013, look no further than the drop off of production from this supposed slugging corner infielder. That probably wasn't real when he was a 3.4 fWAR in 2012 but rather a career year. If he could have done roughly half that the Nationals would have made things even more interesting down the stretch.

Cy Young: Jordan Zimmerman
Another one of those guys who will figure just fine into the real National League Cy Young Award race. He won't win it but he should finish top five, and he was easily the Nationals best pitcher in 2013. A 3.6 fWAR producer, the durable right-hander made all 32 of his starts survived despite a subpar K-Rate (6.79 K/9) because the son of a gun knows how to pitch and has impeccable control, evidenced by his 1.69 BB/9. In comparison, Gio Gonzalez walked about two more hitters per nine last season and struggled a little bit to be 'the old Gio'. Comfortably in the middle of those two in both fWAR and BB/9 was the guy who should have been named the Nationals best pitcher if he threw like he had any heart, Stephen Strasburg.

Cy Yuck: Dan Haren
The Nationals owned the rights to $13 million dollar Danny this past season, and what a prize that was to own the deed to.

This was another one of those players entering the season where you just kind of felt like it was disaster waiting to happen - and if you felt that way you were somewhat Nostradamus because Haren was mostly shitty. His 1.5 fWAR tells too little of the story. He actually struck out eight hitters per nine innings which isn't terrible. But 13% of the balls hit in the air off a Haren pitch left the park. That's kind of scary isn't it? And it's even more scary because only 36% of his batted balls were on the ground. Dan Haren is the reason the Nats can't have nice things.

ROY: Tanner Mother F'in Roark
Tanner Roark is the truth. He is both the question, and the answer. He looks like he should be teaching 8th grade science and somehow he goes out and shuts the other team down one quality start at a time. In 14 games he had a fWAR of 1.4 and went 7-1 for the Nationals. A career minor leaguer prior the season, Roark was a huge reason that the Nationals stayed in the race until the late going. I watched him extensively because he was a late season fantasy baseball pick-up. He's one of those guys who; how should I put this, I don't know why Tanner Roark was successful. He looks like your garden variety guy who throws 90-91 MPH with so-so control and he doesn't really have that one phenomenal pitch when he gets in a jam or deep in a count. But the sumbitch just competes! He has guile! He's so cool on the mound that if he had any Columbian blood inside him we could call him 'El Padrino'. I don't know that that means but it is a cool nickname, eh?

He sort of looks like Eric Mathews off Boy Meets World. Sort of.

Reliever of the Year: Tyler Clippard
Man this is some slim pickings, but I guess Clippard takes home the prized hardware. Goggles McClippard was a solid set-up man for the Nationals who managed not to fuck things up too many times while the game was graced with his lanky presence. We won't go into fWAR because he wasn't worth all that much. None of these guys were, really. I was told the entire season came and went and the Nationals bullpen was not offered one free drink in the state of Maryland all year! True story. Something has gone terribly wrong when that happens. Clippard's numbers of note: 9.25 K/9, .170 BABIP (lucky SOB), nice little 2.41 ERA, and 154 mixed drinks paid for in-full. You think that's bad, Drew Storen was spending so much money on his booze that he quit drinking!

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