Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale. The players will be chosen in no particular order.
Without question, Jayson Werth had a career year in 2009 with many memorable moments. He was selected to his first All-Star game and reached career highs in home runs (36), RBIs (99), doubles (26), walks (91), hits (153) and extra-base hits (63). In terms of great games, many fans will most remember his improbable steal of home (after also swiping second and third) versus the Dodgers on May 13th; a close second would have to be his three run walk off home run in the 13th inning on July 21 to extend the Phillies winning streak to ten. Just four days earlier, his RBI single in the 12th helped to put away the Marlins.
Still, Werth’s biggest contribution to the 2009 season had to be his consistent overachievement at the plate. With more playing time than he’s ever seen, he finished seventh in the league in home runs, 10th in walks, and worked pitchers at a rate of 4.51 pitches per plate appearance (no doubt a page taken from Pat Burrell’s book).
In the field, Jayson Werth played a solid right field. His 11 outfield assists were tied for fifth in the National League; while his arm continues to instill fear into baserunners and third base coaches alike.
In the post season, Werth will certainly be remembered for his two home runs off Andy Pettitte in the Phillies Game 3 loss. Earlier in Colorado during Game 4 of the NLDS, he knocked in the game-winning run to cap off the Phillies three-run ninth inning.
Within the grand scheme of Charlie Manuel’s lineup card, Werth provides a highly productive right-handed bat to complement the Phillies’ lefty-heavy heart of the order. In 2009 he also provided value for front office’s bottom line, making $2.5 million coming off a $1 million signing bonus. Next year he is on the books for a hefty raise – to the tune of $7 million. His current contract with the Phillies will expire after that. He’ll be 31 years old and likely worth resigning. Considering this was a career year, how will he top it in a contract year?
2009 numbers: 159 at-bats, .268 average, .373 on-base percentage, .879 OPS, 36 HR, 99 RBI, 20 SB, 156 K
GRADE: 8.5/10 — Johnny Wacko played out of his mind this year – a career year across the board. Like a fine wine, Jayson Werth gets better with age.