Werth the wait
By Jesse Pantuosco, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How was your weekend?
Probably not as good as Jayson Werth's. In three games against the Phillies, Werth erupted for seven hits in 12 at bats. Washington swept the three-game set.
And that's not even the best weekend he's had this month. Against the Brewers a little over a week ago, the Washington right fielder swatted seven hits in ten trips to the plate. The Nats won two out of three.
Nice of you to finally join us, Jayson.
Two and a half years after signing Werth to a seven-year, $126 million deal, the Nationals are finally getting their money's worth.
In the last 30 days, only Andrew McCutchen has posted better fantasy numbers than Werth, and not by much. Since the All-Star break, he's belted seven homers (most in the majors) with 16 RBI (eighth-best in the bigs). Werth's .429 batting average since the break is second to Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes (.474 in 38 at bats).
A torrid August (.571 AVG in 28 at bats) has lifted Werth's batting average all the way up to .328, which is 56 points above his career average. Once he finally logs enough at bats to qualify for the league lead, which should be within the next few days, Werth's average will rank third in the National League and fifth-best in the major leagues.
Pretty good for a guy who was hitting .272 on July 1st.
You could argue that the 2013 campaign has been Werth's best season to date. Werth's OPS (.931) is the highest he's had since entering the league in 2002 and his batting average is 28 points clear of his previous career-best.
Werth's success hasn't translated into many wins for the Nationals (9-13 in the second half) but that doesn't matter in fantasy. What matters is his blistering .407 average since moving to the cleanup spot. His .365 average in day games hasn't hurt either.
Werth is firing on all cylinders right now. Despite his team's struggles, the crafty veteran has still managed to cross home plate 18 times in the second half. That puts Werth one behind Atlanta's Jason Heyward, the league leader in that statistic since the All-Star break.
As baffling as Werth's ascent has been, it actually makes sense that it's happening. See, this isn't the first time Werth has gone bonkers in the month of August. Or even the second.
Six seasons ago, Werth caught fire with a 36-for-87 hitting spree (.414) and just last season he finished the month at a crisp .358 in 95 at bats.
These aren't outliers. This is how it's always been for Werth. In 720 career at bats in the month of August, he's hitting .311 with a .521 slugging percentage.
And what about the rest of the year?
Just .248 with a .428 slugging percentage.
Basically, if August didn't exist Werth would we working at Taco Bell right now.
Well, that might be a stretch. His July stats, though not as impressive as his August numbers, are still pretty good (.281 AVG, .475 SLUG in 181 July contests).
Either way, it's safe to say Werth is at his best in the summer months.
So what does that mean for September? Well, we're not there yet, but there's sure to be a drop-off. Werth has never collected a .300 average in September and his lifetime average in that month is just .254.
All hot streaks come to an end and so will Werth's. But it's not over yet and there's still plenty of August left. So sit back and let the good times roll.
Doesn't that beard get hot, Jayson? Not as hot as his bat, apparently.
08/12 18:07:46 ET