- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Washington Nationals’ infield was well-represented Thursday night as the Silver Slugger award-winners were announced.

Shortstop Ian Desmond won the award for a third consecutive year, while third baseman Anthony Rendon was honored for the first time in his first full major league season. The Nationals have now earned at least one Silver Slugger award in five of the past six seasons.

Desmond hit fifth in Washington’s lineup for most of the season, batting .255 with 24 home runs and 91 RBI, the third straight year in which he has finished with at least 20 homers and 70 RBI. The 29-year-old is due to become a free agent at the conclusion of next season.

Though Desmond finished third in the National League with 183 strikeouts, he displayed tremendous power when making contact. According to ESPN, his home runs traveled an average of 413.1 feet, which ranks third in the majors.

“As much of an honor as this is, I still feel like there are a lot of things I can improve on, and will improve on,” Desmond said in a statement issued by the team. “I’m going to continue to work hard so I can be better next year.”

Rendon put together one of the best offensive seasons in the National League and finished among the leaders in several categories. He led the NL with 111 runs scored and finished tied for fifth with 176 hits, fourth with 39 doubles and third with 290 total bases. Rendon, who will not turn 25 until June, hit .287 with 21 homers and 83 RBI.

“While I don’t play this game for the individual accolades, I’m incredibly honored to receive this award and to be mentioned in the same breath as these great players — especially my teammate and friend, Ian Desmond,” Rendon said in a statement. “I would like to thank all of the coaches, trainers and teammates who I’ve been with along the way. Without them, I wouldn’t be in a position to accept this.”

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