2012 Stats: 113 G, .292/.328/.518, 23 HR, 67 RBI, 17-for-22 SB
Heading into the season, people knew that not only did Ian Desmond have speed and 10-to-15 home runs in his bat, but that in the end, he'd strike out more than 100 times and struggle to get on base or hit for a decent average.
While the 26-year-old Desmond has struck out more than 100 times and continues to flash his speed on the basepaths, he's also set new career highs in doubles, home runs and RBI while remaining on pace to set new full-season career bests in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
Desmond's defense leaves plenty to be desired, though. While his fielding percentage is one of the lowest among everyday shortstops, his UZR/150 of 6.3 is close to that of Jimmy Rollins, who is tied for seventh in fielding percentage for shortstops.
Defensive issues aside, Desmond, who made the All-Star team for the first time in 2012, is one of the better hitting young shortstops in the game and someone who figures to see his numbers improve as the Nationals continue to add pieces to their lineup.
Others Considered: Zack Cosart (Reds)
Preseason Picks: Mike Aviles (Red Sox), Dee Gordon (Dodgers)