Phillies Former Players Heading to 2016 MLB Playoffs
By John Town
After a terrible 2015, Jayson Werth is finding his stride again with the Nationals.
Jayson Werth hit rock-bottom in 2015. He spent five days in jail after pleading guilty to reckless driving in January of that year. His play was significantly worse compared to the previous year, where he earned 4.7 wins above replacement by Baseball Reference’s standards. Instead, he detracted from the Nationals by -0.4 wins above replacement.
With Werth earning $21 million a year over the last three years of his seven-year, $126 million contract, that below-average play was impossible to justify.
Werth certainly turned his play around in 2016. He struggled to start the year, but he came alive in June with a .926 OPS. Between July and August, Werth tied Washington’s franchise on-base streak record at 46 games.
What helped Werth reach such a high streak is his high walk rate. Among all Nationals batters with 50 or more plate appearances, Werth ranks second behind Bryce Harper with a 11.6% walk rate.
In addition, Werth is one of five Nationals with 20 or more home runs on the year. He ranks fifth on the team with 21 home runs.
Even with his midseason surge, Werth collected just 1.2 fWAR this season. His $9.6 million of value is still far below what the Nationals are paying him, but he is back on the rise after his poor 2015.