Year In Review: Jayson Werth – Phillies Nation
2009 Year in Review

Year In Review: Jayson Werth

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.

Jayson Werth steals homeWithout 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.



  1. MattXner

    November 17, 2009 at 9:27 am

    J. Werth gets me all hot and bothered

  2. mikeB

    November 17, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I would have graded Werth out at a flat 8. Even though Jayson had a great year, like any player, he has room for further improvement. If he could avoid spells of time when he mentally seems to be in outer space, he could further improve his offensive statistics and defensive play in left field. Needs to cut down on his strikeouts and fishing after that low, outside pitch. Anyway, great article in regards to Werth and a terrific performance by Jayson. Have been dreaming about what a powerful lineup the Phillies would have next season if they added Beltre, another right handed power hitter hitting after Werth in the batting order.

  3. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 10:08 am

    “Avoid spells when he mentally seems to be in outer space.”

    I’ve been very slow to jump on the Werth bandwagon because of those spells. Call it immaturity… call it an unwillingness to remain focused… to me, Werth always seemed destined to be the guy that never lived up to his potential.


    I will happily admit that I was wrong. Something clicked for Jayson this year. Maybe Ibanez had something to do with it… maybe Raul’s early success and fan-craze helped nudge Jayson in the right direction. Those two players seem very much alike in talent… maybe Ibanez’ professionalism wore off. I don’t know what it was but we saw very few “spells” this year from Jayson. He still has room to grow as a player (better plate discipline and better at bats versus right handers) but he really showed us what he’s capable of. Hopefully, he continues to progress and prepares to be the special player that we all know he can be.

  4. KP

    November 17, 2009 at 10:16 am

    “with many memorial moments”

    I think you meant ‘memorable’, unless you really meant that he was honoring someone who had died.

  5. Manny

    November 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Werth is $$$$!!

    Add Beltre and you have Werth, Raul, Beltre.. that’s pretty nasty for your 5-6-7 guys in a NL lineup.

  6. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 10:22 am

    how is hitting .268, with 36 HRs, 99 RBIs, 98 Runs Scored, 20 Steals.. “Immaturity, Unfocused, etc.”???

    Werth, like all POWER HITTERS will go through Hot Streaks, and Cold Streaks

    He will never hit .300 … but his all-around game is close to unmatched in Major League Baseball

    Mark Reynolds is the only player in baseball, with more STEALS than Werth.. to also have more HOME RUNS than Werth..

    They both scored 98 runs, Werth hit for a higer average, and had a higher on-base% …

    Factor caught-stealing into the mix:
    Reynolds 24 steals – 9 Caught Stealing = 15 Safe Steals
    Werth 20 Steals – 3 Caught Stealing = 18 Safe Steals

    Werth is what he is.. a high energy player, aggressive, risky, creative, etc..

    Its why people that like him, love him. …. and people that don’t, don’t

  7. Manny

    November 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I agree Don. But 20 – 3 = 17.

  8. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Don – did you read my entire post?

    I said that I felt like he was immature and would never reach his ceiling but I admitted that I was wrong… he is well on his way to becoming one of the elite players in the game. I still think that he is his own biggest enemy… honestly, he has more raw ability than almost anyone in the game (therefore he should steal more bases and hit more home runs). We’re lucky to have him…

  9. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 10:44 am

    hahaha… I must have given him the extra stolen base because one of them was home plate???

    Original.. yea that was kinda at mikeB too… and just to the general thought that Werth is underrated

    people really either Love him or Leave him in Philly

  10. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I admit that I did not like Jayson Werth… I felt like he was a product of this lineup. The powerful righty nestled into a predominantly lefthanded lineup… felt like maybe he saw more righties than he should because teams focus so much on trying to stop Howard and Utley… but this year he did not fly under anyone’s radar and he still put up great numbers. He is a great all around baseball player and he has shown that he can come up with that big hit in pressure situations. He’s the bad boy… but he’s a killer, for sure. He’s one of the guys that lives for the opportunity to step on someone’s throat (metaphorically speaking).

  11. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 11:14 am

    yea he’s the closest thing to a “Shark that smells blood in the water” that there is

    He tries to make things happen.. and although he’s aggressive, I still think he’s a “Smarter” baseball player than Victorino (who I don’t like for that very reason.. chippy, and over-agressive at the wrong times)

  12. bfo_33

    November 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Nice review, hits the mark. Since he went through an entire year of seeing RHP, I believe that will improve next year. He has the potential to be a 40-40 guy, if Beltre is signed (which I have mixed feelings about), he may very well get the chance. If Pedro is re-signed, wouldn’t make sense to take the bat out of Ibanez’s hands that often, but would still expect 40+ homers, 100+ RBIs from a healthy Werth.
    Although I like Victorino (or, more to the point, he entertains me), Don M is dead on, all energy, no brain. He’s not the biggest hole on the roster, but would certainly look to move him while his perceived value is high, bring up Taylor, move Werth to center.

  13. Jim

    November 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I agree that I like Werth too. However, maybe you look into the possibility of moving him for pitching help this year. If Taylor is almost ready, you could have Francisco play right until then and save yourself a boatload of money. Also you would get the pitching help that you need, he would snatch a good return. Don’t forget he is around 30 and injury prone…which usually doesn’t bode well. Just a thought.

  14. Brian Michael

    November 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Yea, I originally had him down for a 8/10, but I questioned what the top mark meant…is it the top of the player’s potential or is it Albert Pujols (as Pat referenced earlier). I thought of it as potential and since no one thought he’d have this kinda year, I gave him the extra half-point.

  15. NEPA

    November 17, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Haha, can’t believe that nickname of Johnny Wacko I put up here sometime last season actually stuck.

  16. Rocket

    November 17, 2009 at 11:58 am

    MattXner said it best, Jayson is smoking hot. (Matt, hit me up at

    Beyond that though, there’s no denying he had an incredible year. I think one of Werth’s best assets is that he knows when to step it up. An all-around athlete like that is hard to find and I think we’re seeing him mature with every game.

    I know a lot of people are skeptical as to whether he can keep his hot streak going. I, for one, believe! With a few shake-ups in the bullpen I think 2010 will be ours.

  17. Richie

    November 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Bye Bye Bruntlett! It’s official!

  18. phil

    November 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    how did howard get a better rating when werth was our 2nd best player?

  19. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I’m guessing they rated them that way because Howard had more HRs, more RBIs, more runs scored, and a higher batting average

  20. kjeantet17

    November 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I also had tons of mixed feelings about Werth last season and at the beginning of this one. However, no longer. I love this guy. Every year I go to the Phillies Baseball 101 Luncheon and Clinic for women and this year he was the Phillie of the day. It was also the day after he stole home. Listening to him answer the questions that day and then watch him take the field has helped me really enjoy him. I would agree that there are days when he is in LaLa land, but not as much as in the past. I can’t wait to see him next year.

    I like Shane, but I think he will be the more sensible one to move. Lots of energy and heart, but Jayson plays smarter ball.

  21. George

    November 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Werth needs better plate discipline? He had 91 walks, a .371 OBP, and saw 4.51 pitches per at bat. How much better disciplined do you expect him to be?

    And he should steal 40 bases? Maybe he’s so successful because, unlike others on the team, he knows when he shouldn’t go.

    As for being injury prone, I believe he was the only regular Phils outfielder who didn’t come up with a pulled this or twisted that this season.

    He might get better, he might not. Even if not, you can’t sneeze at 20 steals, 36 homers, 99 RBIs, and above average defense. Give the man a break.

  22. Bob in Bucks

    November 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Werth is a solid player but having been at many games (including that steal of home) I have seen him at his best and his worst. He gets picked off more than he should and tends to hit for the fence more than he should. He definitely could be a .300 hitter if he did not take all those ferocious swings.

    Solid fielder, good speed (not the best baserunner), good arm. He is a great player. If Phils are not in the mix at trade deadline this summer I would move him to get some prospects and make room for our minor league OF phenoms.

  23. RC

    November 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Who is Johnny Wacko? Am I missing something or am I just too old to know? Or it some cutesy made up nickname.

  24. Brett

    November 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Johnny Wacko was a nickname created by a Phillies Nation Commenter last Summer. Apparently they plugged his real name into a nickname generator and that’s what came out.

    I’d like to see the Phils re-sign him after next season, but with our outfield prospects, I don’t see it happening. Either way, we have another year with Johnny.

    How many days til pitchers and catchers?

  25. Harper

    November 19, 2009 at 10:25 am

    8.5 out of 10?? What’s a player gotta do to get his due respect around here? Werth stood toe to toe with any and every player on the team. His numbers are outstanding; let’s face it, he’s a five-tool player. Seriously, who’s better? Utley and Howard, certainly but if they clock in at 10, Werth deserves a 9 if not a 9.5.

  26. Keith E

    November 19, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Jason Werth is ‘My Favorite Martian’. He could be the new Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee.
    He is also my favorite Phillie!
    GO PHILS!!!

  27. Schmidty fan

    November 22, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Dang! What does a guy have to do to get the respect he deserves in Philly? Werth has done nothing but get consistently better and is solid offensively and defensively. Not to mention, he has a great gun from the outfield. Solid defense, great base stealing, HR hitter, and oh yeah, before I forget, DIDN’T choke in the World Series. Gee, Jayson, guess you need to find something to improve on to make folks happy, though can’t think what that would be. Maybe 3 dingers in a game instead of a measely 2? Give me a break! He is my number one Phillie.

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