At the moment, Jayson Werth’s 7-year. $126 million contract looks to be baseball’s most ill-advised pact since San Francisco secured the services of Barry Zito. That said, the Nationals OF tells the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, “I’m still very capable,” though adding, “maybe not this year.”
With one quarter remaining of his first season in Washington, Werth has yet to show he will be the player the Nationals hoped for. He feels he possesses the both ability to still be an elite player and the self-confidence to say: “I’m still that same guy. I’m still that same player.”
The black-and-white truths of the first 119 games, he knows, have told a different story. Even after a recent surge, Werth has a 97 OPS+, a metric that combines a player’s ability to slug and reach base on a scale that uses 100 as league average. He has a .330 on-base percentage and a .383 slugging percentage.
His batting average, now .225, has been the measure most commonly held against Werth.
“It’s an important stat to the public I think, to the fans,” Werth said. “I don’t put a whole lot of weight in average. I’m looking forward to see that movie that comes out in a couple weeks.”
Werth meant “Moneyball,” based on the book that created a sea change in how ballplayers are evaluated. He puts far more stock in on-base and slugging percentages.
“Even if the average doesn’t get there this year,” Werth said, “I’ll be able to look at my numbers and feel good about it at the end of the year, if things go the way I think they’re going to go the next two months.”