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Entries in Jayson Werth (2)

Monday
Sep162013

For what it's Werth

There's somethin' happenin' here

What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a bat over there
Tellin' me, I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down

With all due respect to Stephen Stills who wrote For What It's Worth for Buffalo Springfield, led by the bat of Jayson Werth, the Washington Nationals are making an, albeit late, drive for the postseason and everybody should be looking what's going down.

Jayson Werth is an important veteran for this Nationals team and in 2011 and 2012 he was hampered by injuries to both wrists and simply didn't produce at the level that was expected of him when he signed a seven-year $126 million contract with Washington.

This spring, Werth looked like he was finally getting his strength back in the wrist that he broke early in 2012, but in his first 27 games of the season, April 1 to May 2, Werth was a .260/.308/.400 hitter with four homers and 10 RBI.

Not really what manager Davey Johnson was expecting.

Then came the hamstring and the DL

Werth went on the DL with a hammy and he came back on June 4 and was a little rusty. By June 4, his average was down to .244, his OBP was .297, and he was slugging .378.

But Werth is not Carl Crawford

Unlike Carl Crawford in Boston, who struggled with his big contract, new team, high expectations, and low deliverables, Werth blamed neither the fans nor the media.

Werth took on the mantle of leadership in the struggling Nats clubhouse and got to work.

As his health returned, Werth's confidence at the plate began to grow as distinctly as his signature beard.

This is Werth's half-season

From June 15 to September 15, Werth has played in 81 games, exactly half a season.
Jayson Werth 6/15 - 9/15
GPAABHHRRunsRBIAVGSLUGOBPOPS
Jayson Werth81338287103185759.359.610.4411.051

Werth has made a transition

Werth over the years has become more aggressive at the plate. He's not working and and waiting for the walk and while his whiffs are up this season, they are still lower than when he was more passive at the plate.
Jayson Werth 2010-13
AVGSLUGOBPHRK%BB%HR%
Jayson Werth 2010.296.532.3882722.5%12.6%4.9%
Jayson Werth 2011.232.389.3302024.7%11.4%3.6%
Jayson Werth 2012.300.440.387516.6%12.2%1.7%
Jayson Werth to 9/15/2013.322.536.3982319.3%10.6%5.5%

Don't minimize how much better Werth feels

Physically and psychologically, Werth is doing better. You can see it in the number of flyballs that are flying out of the park and his home run/fly ball percentage and the distance on his homers.
Jayson Werth's Return to Power 2010-13
HR/FBHRDST
Jayson Werth 201015.2%400.0
Jayson Werth 201112.7%401.4
Jayson Werth 20125.2%399.0
Jayson Werth to 9/15/201320.2%405.2

Judge Werth by the company he keeps

Worth's had the third best OPS in the majors since June 15, trailing only MVP candidates Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout and leading MVP candidates Hanley Ramirez, Andrew McCutchen, Chris Davis, Paul Goldschmidt, and David Ortiz.

That is heady company.

The Nationals were a 33-33 team through June 14, and have been 46-37 since.

No it hasn't just been Jayson Werth, but without his resurgence they are making October golf plans now.

So, hey children, what's that sound?

It's sound of Werth's cracks off the bat.
Friday
Oct222010

No Easy Answer to Jayson Werth

Soon-to-be free agent Jayson Werth continued to pad his resume with the all-important insurance run last night in Game Five of the NLCS with a solo home run in the ninth inning off of Giants right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez. The right-handed Werth took Ramirez to the opposite field, clearing the 24-foot high wall at AT&T Park, putting his team ahead 4-2. Werth had already made noise earlier in the game with one of the best outfield assists of the 2010 season, and had been one of the only Phillies doing anything offensively in the playoffs to that point.

Represented by Scott Boras, it seems a foregone conclusion that Werth is playing his final games as a Philadelphia Phillie -- and for good reason: hitters of Werth's caliber are very rare.

Over the past three calendar years, Werth has the fifth-highest wOBA among all Major League outfielders. At a ridiculous .389, Werth trails only Matt Holliday, Josh Hamilton, Shin-Soo Choo, and Ryan Braun. In 2009, Werth led all Major Leaguers in average pitches seen per plate appearance (4.5) and finished third this year (4.37).

With a hitter so patient and yet so potent, how do you pitch to him? It's a good question, one that opposing pitchers have yet to answer. As the following charts show, Werth has tremendous plate coverage and great power to all fields against both left- and right-handed pitchers.

Jayson Werth's in play ISO vs. RHP

Jayson Werth's in play ISO vs. LHP

He hits hard stuff (93rd percentile in wOBA, 2010) and soft stuff (95th percentile) alike. He even hits well with two strikes (97th). If there is an easy way to handle Jayson Werth, it's not obvious. Among the 14 pitchers he has faced 20 or more times, only Tim Redding, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, and Chris Volstad have had impressive results. Aside from mediocrity, there is nothing the four pitchers have in common.

When Werth hits free agency after the post-season, teams will be bidding for the services of what appears to be an as-yet unsolved riddle -- a very productive, multi-talented unsolved riddle.