Waving the White Flag: Ian Desmond

Jun 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. The Chicago Cubs won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

I believe that to be a successful fantasy player, you have to admit sometimes that you completely whiffed on a player pick, and ultimately have to make the decision to cut ties with the investment.

Over the last three years I have been a big Ian Desmond fan, and have owned him in most leagues that I have been a part of, including this season.

The obvious reason any of us have drafted Desmond, is the 20/20 seasons he offered at the offensively challenged SS position. 20/20 seasons are fantasy gold, and most owners began to assume that even in a down year, he would still reach that mark.

Going into 2015, I began to acknowledge that there were plenty of red flags in terms of picking Desmond, the increased chase and K rates, the steady drop in OBP, and the frustrating streakiness.

I went into the draft trying to make a distinct effort to invest in any other option other than being sucked in by Desmond’s potential. But, as the rounds and picks kept rolling, Desmond kept sitting there and eventually I could not ignore the value anymore even with all the pitfalls that may follow him.

Well, it seems as the red flags were accurate and here I sit wasting a mid-round pick on a player that sits on the year with a .214/11 HR/6 SB/.615 OPS line.

The K rate is at a career high 29%, his BB% is a career low 5.5%, and the chase rates are appalling. Watching Desmond has been a struggle, he continually flails at anything close to the zone, and often looks lost at the plate.

The frustrating thing about Desmond is that his knack for streakiness has often kept owners willing to keep him in the lineup hoping that he will eventually break out of it and produce that power/speed combo we seek.

In late July he all of sudden got hot and hit home runs in back to back games, and had a great week, even though he was on the bench for most of his owners. I figured that even though it took a while, he was finally turning it around and it could potentially serve as a needed fantasy boost.

But, once again I got sucked in and inserted Desmond into the lineup where he failed to bat his weight, whilst also no power nor speed production.

This brings me to this article, I am finally washing my hands of Desmond in hopes to eliminate the headache in general. I will concede that if he were able to muster up back to back consecutive productive weeks, that I may think about reacquiring him, but I just do not see that happening.

I know that a lot of fantasy owners have stuck with Desmond this long because he fills our SS spot, at a notoriously weak fantasy position. But, there has to be better options on the waiver wire that would supply better stats.

A couple of options that could that fill could be Didi Gregorious, Eugenio Suarez, or Freddy Galvis. By no means do they have the same ceiling that Desmond has, but because of the sheer lack of production form Desmond, they would instantly become viable options.