Myth: Jayson Werth had a terrible 2011 Season.
Fact: Jayson Werth had a terrible 1st half of the 2011 Season.
I can't tell you how many times I have seen that Jayson Werth had a terrible 2011 season. Was it what fan's expected? No. But does that automatically mean that it was terrible? No. It doesn't. Not at all.
Before we get into me proving myself right, let's look at Werth's history.
From 2002-2009, Werth moved from Toronto to Los Angeles, finally settling in the City of Brotherly Love in 2007. Up until that point he was plagued with injury problems and he was mostly a 4th or 5th outfielder, not able to lock down a starting job. It wasn't until 2008 when he got that spot in the Phillies 2008 juggernaut of a lineup featuring healthier and younger versions of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, as well as perennial MVP candidate, Jimmy Rollins. Once he was able to settle in to that lineup, things went very well for him.
This is his slashline from 2002-2009: .265/.360/.467
Fast forward to 2010. The Phillies won a whopping 97 games and Jayson Werth had a career year (in his contract year, no less - shocking). Werth posted career highs in Runs, Hits, Doubles (almost doubling his previous high), Average, and Slugging - definitely an anomaly year.
So, was it naive for Nats fans to think that this was the Werth that was coming to DC?
I'm guilty of it, just as I'm sure many of you are guilty of it.
But let's get back to this past year. Yes, his first half of the season was pathetic as he posted a .215 Average and a .681 OPS, but a bad first half does not a bad season make.
Post All-Star break, Jayson Werth began to resemble to resemble the player that he was from 2002-2009 with this 2nd half slashline: .255/.345/.426.
Are these numbers lower than his career average? Yes, but not enough to throw a hissy fit over.
- The lower average can be explained by going from feasting on Nationals pitchers to having to face the Phillies Four-Horsemen.
- The lower OBP can be explained by going from hitting behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to hitting behind Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond.
- The lower Slugging % can be explained by going from Citizen's Bank Smallpark to more neutral Nationals Park.
This is the new reality for Jayson Werth. In my (expert) opinion, Jayson Werth is going to have a better year than last year, but it won't come close to touching the .296/.388/.532 of 2010.
But for now, can we please resist the urge to label all of Werth's 2011 a disaster? Thanks.