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Ian Desmond

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Ian Desmond
Desmond with the Texas Rangers in 2016
Colorado Rockies – No. 20
Outfielder / Shortstop / First baseman
Born: (1985-09-20) September 20, 1985 (age 34)
Sarasota, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 2009, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.263
Home runs181
Runs batted in711
Stolen bases181
Career highlights and awards

Ian Morgan Desmond (born September 20, 1985) is an American professional baseball infielder and outfielder for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers. Desmond is a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and a two-time MLB All-Star. While primarily a shortstop early in his career, Desmond began playing primarily left field, center field, and first base starting in 2016.

Professional career

Minor leagues

The Montreal Expos selected Desmond in the third round of the 2004 MLB draft (84th overall). Desmond batted .227 with one home run and 27 RBIs for the Gulf Coast League Expos in 2004. He was second in the Gulf Coast League with 216 at-bats and fifth in stolen bases with 13. He had a .250 batting average with one home run and one RBI in four games for the Class-A short-season Vermont Expos.

In 2005, Desmond batted .247 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 73 games for Class-A Savannah Sand Gnats. He added a career-high 20 stolen bases. Desmond had a .256 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 55 games for the Class-A Advanced Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League. At season's end, he was named the best defensive shortstop in the South Atlantic League (SAL) in Baseball America's top tools survey of league managers. He was ranked as the 19th best prospect in the SAL by Baseball America.

In 2006, Desmond batted .244 with a career-high nine home runs and 45 RBIs for Potomac. He scored 50 runs and had 20 doubles in 92 games. He had a .182 batting average with no home runs and three RBIs for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

Desmond spent the 2007 season with Potomac and set career highs in home runs with 14, average with a .264 clip, on-base percentage with a .357 clip and doubles with 30. Desmond slugged his first homer of the season on April 17. He went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, three RBIs and scored twice on April 20. He homered in consecutive games on July 28–29 and August 12–13.

In 2008, Desmond played for Harrisburg and started the year there in 2009. In his three months there, he batted .306 and, in June, was promoted to the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. In 55 games with the Chiefs, he batted .354.[1] After the minor league season ended, he was called up to the Nationals.

Washington Nationals

Desmond playing for the Washington Nationals in 2011

Desmond played his first major league game on September 10, 2009. He had his first hit, a double, and RBI during his second at bat. He later went on to hit his first home run during the same game.[2] He followed that up with a 4-for-4 game, and become only the second player ever (along with Guy Sturdy of the 1927 St. Louis Browns) to record at least six hits and four RBI in his first two games as a major leaguer.[3]

On March 28, 2010, after a solid spring training in which he led the team in RBIs, Desmond was awarded the Nationals' starting shortstop job, beating out incumbent Cristian Guzmán.[4][5] His first full year was a bit erratic. He booted the first ball that came to him and in the next game, hit the first home run of the season for the Nationals. Desmond ended the season batting .269 with 10 home runs and 65 runs batted in while stealing 17 bases.[6] In 2011 he batted .253/.298/.358.[7]

Desmond switched his uniform number to 20 at the beginning of the 2012 season to honor Frank Robinson.[8] On Opening Day, Desmond started at shortstop and hit leadoff for the Nationals, who played at the Cubs.[9] Desmond was selected[10] for the 2012 All Star Game, his first such selection. However, on Saturday, July 7, it was announced that Desmond was withdrawing from the game due to a sore oblique.[11] The oblique injury persisted, forcing the Nationals to place Desmond on the 15-day disabled list on July 23.[12]

At the encouragement of manager Davey Johnson,[13] Desmond became a very aggressive hitter. He was second in the National League, and seventh in the majors, in percent of pitches swung at in the 2012 season (55%).[14] With his 18th home run of the season on August 20, Desmond set a franchise record for homers by a shortstop.[15] On September 24, Desmond became the first Nationals player since 2006 to join the 20 home run – 20 steal club when he stole his 20th base. He had already hit 24 home runs.[16] Desmond was awarded a Silver Slugger for his offensive prowess in the 2012 season.[17]

In 2013, Desmond repeated both his 20 home run – 20 steal season[18] and his Silver Slugger Award.[19] He batted .280 with 20 home runs, 80 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases in 158 games played.[20]

2014 saw Desmond win his third straight Silver Slugger at shortstop, batting .255/.313/.430 with 24 home runs and 91 RBI.[20] He also was 2nd in the league in power-speed number (24.0).[21]

Desmond struggled both offensively and defensively throughout the 2015 season. In 156 games, he hit .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI, and committed 27 errors in the field.[20] At the end of the season, he became a free agent.

Texas Rangers

Desmond batting for the Texas Rangers in 2016

After rejecting a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals, Desmond remained a free agent until February 29, 2016, when he signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Texas Rangers.[22] Desmond was expected to play primarily in the outfield rather than as a shortstop for the Rangers. He made his first appearances in left and center field during Cactus League action in March 2016.[23]

Desmond was selected as an American League All-Star to represent the Rangers at the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego along with teammate Cole Hamels. Prior to the game, Desmond was batting .322 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. Desmond finished the 2016 season with a batting average of .285, 22 home runs, and 86 RBIs. The Rangers lost in the 2016 ALDS, being swept by the Blue Jays in three games. In the series Desmond went 3-for-14 (.214) with 2 RBIs.[citation needed]

Colorado Rockies

On December 13, 2016, Desmond signed a five-year contract with the Colorado Rockies.[24][25] During a spring training game on March 13, 2017, Desmond was hit by a pitch on his left hand. The injury resulted in a metacarpal fracture, requiring surgery.[26] He appeared in his first game for the Rockies on April 30 in left field, due to the strong play of first baseman Mark Reynolds.[27]

In 2018, he batted .236/.307/.422. For the 2018 season, he had the highest ground ball percentage of all major league hitters (62.0%).[28]

In 2019, Desmond hit .255 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI in 140 games.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Desmond chose to opt out of the 2020 MLB season.[29]

Personal life

Desmond has a younger brother, Chris Charron.[8] Desmond and fellow major league player Josh Roenicke are brothers-in-law; Roenicke, a pitcher who played for the Minnesota Twins through 2013 and signed a minor league deal with the Nationals for 2014,[30] married Desmond's sister Nikki in 2010.[31] In January 2010, Ian married his wife Chelsey,[32] whom he met in the fifth grade.[33] The couple has four children together. When his first child was born, Desmond became one of the first players to claim paternity leave, which had just been introduced to MLB.[34][35] The family lives in Sarasota, Florida.[33]

While with the Nationals, Desmond served on the board of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which opened in 2014.[36][37]

Desmond is a national spokesperson for the Children's Tumor Foundation.[38]

Desmond is related to Viola Desmond, a Canadian civil rights activist.


  1. "Ian Desmond Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  2. Sheinin, Dave (September 11, 2009). "Desmond Shines in Big League Debut as Nats Beat Phillies". The Washington Post. ISSN 0740-5421. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  3. Zuckerman, Mark (September 15, 2009). "Nats' Desmond making most of his call-up: Infielder's start rates among best ever in majors". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  4. Ladson, Bill (March 28, 2010). "Desmond awarded starting shortstop job". Retrieved April 11, 2010.
  5. Kilgore, Adam (March 29, 2010). "Ian Desmond will start at shortstop for Washington Nationals". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  6. Kilgore, Adam (April 8, 2010). "Fast times at shortstop for Ian Desmond". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  7. Ian Desmond Stats |
  8. 1 2 Kilgore, Adam (April 2, 2012). "Nationals' Ian Desmond believes it will all come together this season". Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  9. Ladson, Bill (April 5, 2012). "Desmond leads things off with big day in win".
  10. Nowak, Joey (July 1, 2012). "Stras, Desmond, Gio selected as NL All-Stars". Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. Wagner, James (July 7, 2012). "Ian Desmond to miss all-star game because of sore oblique". Washington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  12. "Nationals put SS Desmond on DL, promote OF Brown". Yahoo!. Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  13. "Nationals Buzz: Wrapping up the Nats' 3-2 win over Miami". MASN Sports. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  14. "Major League Leaderboards » 2012 » Batters » Plate Discipline Statistics". Fangraphs. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  15. Comak, Amanda (August 21, 2012). "Edwin Jackson's notable warm-up and Ian Desmond's notable home run". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  16. Comak, Amanda (September 24, 2012). "Ian Desmond becomes Nationals' first 20-20 player since Alfonso Soriano". The Washington Times. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  17. Wagner, James (November 8, 2012). "Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, Stephen Strasburg win Silver Slugger Awards". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  18. Wagner, James (September 23, 2013). "Ian Desmond records back-to-back 20-20 seasons". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  19. Kilgore, Adam (November 6, 2013). "Ian Desmond wins second consecutive Silver Slugger award". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  20. 1 2 3 "Ian Desmond Statistics and History". Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  21. 2014 National League Batting Leaders |
  22. Sullivan, T.R. (February 29, 2016). "Rangers, Desmond complete 1-year deal". Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  23. Wilson, Jeff (March 23, 2016). "Ian Desmond continues to impress Texas Rangers with outfield play". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  24. Ian Desmond agrees to five-year deal with Rockies
  25. Rockies, Desmond reportedly agree to deal
  26. Harding, Thomas. "Desmond headed for surgery, out indefinitely". MLB. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  27. Ian Desmond likely to make Rockies debut Sunday, in left field, not at first base
  28. Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  29. Rockies’ Desmond opts out of season: ‘Home is where I need to be right now’. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  30. Wagner, James (February 14, 2014). "Nationals ink reliever Josh Roenicke, Ian Desmond's brother-in-law, to minor league deal". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  31. Rosecrans, C. Trent. "Nats' Ian Desmond takes brother-in-law deep". Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  32. "5 Cutest Pregnancy Announcements from Athletes". CBS DC. February 14, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  33. 1 2 Svrluga, Barry (May 9, 2014). "The Wife". Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  34. James, Chelsea (October 4, 2014). "With third son coming soon, no paternity leave available for Ian Desmond". Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  35. Schad, Tom (October 4, 2014). "Birth of son not expected to keep Desmond out of NLDS games". Washington Times. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  36. Kilgore, Adam (March 30, 2014). "Ian Desmond has become the backbone of the Washington Nationals". Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  37. Wagner, James (March 29, 2014). "Ribbon cut on Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast". Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  38. Desmond Family Presents Check to Help Fight NF


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