Colorado Rockies: Will 2018 be a bounce back year for Ian Desmond?
It’s widely known that Ian Desmond didn’t have the 2017 he hoped for. Back in December of 2016, the Colorado Rockies had signed him hoping that’d he’d bring the leadership and a solid bat to Denver. We all were optimistic about having Desmond come to the Rockies and very curious if he’d be able to make the transition to first base.
You know how the story goes: he got injured and was out for a sizable portion of the season. As of now, Ian Desmond is healthy and determined to get back out on the field wherever the Rockies need him. It leads me to ask… will this be his bounce back year?
Entering the first year of his 5 year/$70 million contract, Ian Desmond went in as a fresh face that could help the Rockies with a playoff push and first base situation. Due to injury, though, Desmond really didn’t get to make the splash that we all wanted to see. When looking at his stats from his time with other teams, he averaged 156 games a season from 2013 through 2016. Unfortunately he only played in 95 games for the Rockies last yea . Hopefully, this year, he’ll be back to his regular self and injury free.
If you take a look back at his stats from last season, he did put up good number with the time he did get to play. In his 95 games Desmond had 93 hits, 7 home runs, and 40 RBI leading to a .274 batting average. Obviously you want to see more home runs and RBI out of him which should come with more playing time. Desmond’s OBP (.326) was good too. In reality, there isn’t anything that sticks out about Ian Desmond that is glaringly bad.
When you go back and see his stats when he played for the Washington Nationals, it’s impressive. He was an All Star outfielder and a Silver Slugger Award winner three years in a row. That’s truly something that must have caught GM Jeff Bridich’s eye while looking into him. Desmond even had a good year with the Texas Rangers before signing with the Rockies. In Texas, he put up 178 hits, 22 home runs, and 86 RBI leading him to .285 batting average. He also was an All Star that year. There’s no doubt in my mind that Desmond couldn’t do this again and even get back to being an All Star and Silver Slugger caliber player.
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Now that’s just offensively. Let’s talk defensive part of the game. The majority of Ian Desmond’s career has been at shortstop, but he’s seen his fair share in the outfield too. Last season was, in fact, his first season playing at first base.
Transitioning to a position you’ve never played at the age of 31 is probably not the smoothest thing either. So, it’s no surprise when you don’t see him digging out balls from the dirt or making the cleanest play like Mark Reynolds did, which is why it’s completely understandable that he started 66 games in left field and only 27 at first. The Rockies faced the fact that Reynolds was better than Desmond at first base.
Now entering the 2018 season, Ian Desmond will be 32, which, in my mind, a player’s age always raises concern. The older people get, the more prone they are to injury. Desmond will also be one of the oldest guys on a team that’s pushing a youth movement. As a result, the Rockies will lean on Desmond for leadership.
This usually what happens in a clubhouse when you have a player that’s significantly older than the others. It’s something I look forward to seeing how he will handled it.
Ian Desmond is, no doubt, a good baseball player. The only thing that made people doubt him was the fact that he didn’t get to play as much as he should’ve. Because of an injury, Colorado didn’t get to see all the hype about Desmond. 2018 will be a year for Ian Desmond to redeem himself and show Rockies fans that what he can really do.
If you want to get into predictions, you’ll most definitely see Desmond in left field since the Rockies have Ryan McMahon as their prime candidate at first.
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As a result, there will be many young outfielders this year so I see it necessary that Ian Desmond to be there voice of wisdom and leadership to those guys. The Rockies are looking for another playoff push again and Ian Desmond has got to play a big part in it for this to be a bounce back year.