The Washington Nationals and their fans are completely drunk on the aura of Jayson Werth, the Great and Powerful, and all I can do is laugh.
Entering the third year of his bloated seven-year $126 million contract that anointed him the savior of a fledgling Nationals team that couldn’t finish above .500 to save their lives, Werth–who rose to glory as nothing more than a role player who could add a little bit of right-handed punch to the lineup during his time with the Phillies–has grown a head far too big for any regulation-sized helmet to contain. But the best part about it, as far as numbers go, is that he’s amounted to what most would consider an absolute failure since signing that dotted line to move two and a half hours south on I-95.
To get a sense of just how delirious people are down here, look no further than Adam Kilgore’s article in this Sunday’s Washington Post. In his attempt to paint an image of Werth that seems like a dedicated leader, the Nat’s beat reporter makes him look more like an arrogant dictator who throws hissy fits if things aren’t done his way:
One week away from his third opening day in Washington, Werth’s influence has spread through every phase of the Nationals’ operation, from the training room to the front office, from rookies in their first spring training to ownership.
He tells teammates when they need to run their last sprint. He tells security guards when they need an extra body in the bleachers. He tells the general manager when the training room needs new equipment. He can bounce between roles — clubhouse enforcer, protector of teammates, emissary to management.
Now, about those stats. It’s laughable to hear people in the nation’s capitol talk about why they are so certain that Werth has lived up to the contract that their baseball team signed him to. Werth has been less than a shell of his former-Phillie self, and even then he didn’t deserve the money the Lerner family was going to be paying him. He got paid on a Jose Bautista, Joshn Hamilton range (prior to his Angel’s deal), but he’s performing more on a Marlon Byrd, Coco Crisp level.
Here’s what I mean. Since 2010, Werth has hit .276, with 52 home runs, 171 RBIs, and an .822 OPS. Decent numbers to say the least, and that’s also taking into account the fact that he only played in 81 games in 2012 after suffering a broken wrist early in the year. But those numbers are dwarfed by someone like Bautista who’s gone .267/115/292/.978 over the same stretch–he also missed significant time in 2012 as well.
Werth has seen a steady decline since ’09 in almost every major statistical category that revolves around swinging the bat at that tiny white ball with red stitching. Even if you were to double the 2012 stats, since he did play exactly half of a season, the numbers are still down. He hasn’t hit over 30 homers since 2009. In fact, that’s the only time in his career that he did accomplish that feat. He’s never batted in more than 100 runs–the closes he came was 99 in ’09. He’s been in and around the top 10 in strikeouts in each of the last three season, prior to 2012. But most importantly — since every baseball nerd seems to get their panties all up in a bunch about this statistic–Werth’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) has plummeted since putting on the curly W.
His 0.4 in 2012 was 30th among right fielders, and in 2011 his 1.0 was tied for 25th. I didn’t feel like scrolling through the list of every MLB batter to find him here. I did, however do it for his defensive WAR in 2012, and found his -1.7 all the way down at 196th in the league (can you name the 195 right fielders ranked above him?).
By comparison, Werth had an offensive WAR of 3.6 in 2008, 4.2 in ’09, and 4.3 in ’10, the year before he left.
Here’s a quick look at those stats and more over the length of his career:
Someone’s spiraling downward.
Maybe it’s the weight of the beard on his face, or that of the franchise on his back that’s weighing him down. Either way, it’s hard to ignore the facts that Jayson Werth has been a complete disappointment to the Washington Nationals, and he’s essentially robbing the team on $126 million. And I wonder how much of that Werth is using to pay off Kilgore and other medials down here to brainwash readers into believing he’s the second coming? He certainly looks the part, but he’s not at all giving the award-winning performance the Nationals were hoping for–except in that one post season game where he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning that pumped so much Natitude into the veins of every individual inside the Beltway who claims to be a lifetime, die-hard Nats-fan. It’s just a shame that was in game 4, and they had to play a game 5. What a buzz killNatitude deflater.
Oh, and did I mention that he’s a douchebag?
(h/t CrossingBroad for the .gif)