It didn’t take Jim Riggleman long to make his first decision as full-time manager of the Washington Nationals.
Starting shortstop Christian Guzman will be moved over to second base in 2010. The Nationals became concerned with Guzman’s range at short last year and now coupled with offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder, it makes sense for the Nationals to move Guzman to second base.
Guzman’s move to second base, presumably opens the door for Ian Desmond to take over the starting shortstop job for the Nationals in 2010.
Desmond was called up to the Nationals last September after tearing through Double-A and Triple-A and didn’t disappoint. In 82 AB’s, Desmond hit .280 with four home runs and an .829 OPS.
So what can we expect from the early Rookie of the Year candidate in 2010?
Bill James projects Desmond to hit .282 with 13 home runs and a .770 OPS in 145 games. I think if the Nationals got that kind of production from Desmond, they would be thrilled.
The .280 average falls right in line with his career minor league batting average of .284 and the 13 home runs falls in line with his average home run production in the minors.
I think this is a pretty spot on projection. However, it wouldn’t shock me if Desmond hit in the .265-.275 range, but hit more than 15 home runs in 2010.
So where should you draft Desmond in your fantasy league?
In a standard league, he falls in between the 15-20 range for shortstops. You probably won’t win your league with Desmond as your starter in 2010, but he definitely can serve as a solid backup on your team.
In a keeper league, Desmond should be drafted in the 10-15 range for shortstops. Desmond is only 24-years-old and should be a major league shortstop for years to come.
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