7 Washington Nationals Who Will Shine in Spring Training
7 Players That Will Shine at Spring Training
In just about a week, pitchers and catchers will report to beautiful Florida for Spring Training. That’s right, folks. Baseball is just about back. Since Spring Training is right around the corner, it’s time to start analyzing the players that will be on the field.
As the teams head south for Spring Training, it marks the beginning of preseason. Some players treat Spring Training as real baseball, others treat it as a final tune up and some take it easy. Every year, however, there are players that stand out and perform like it’s midseason baseball.
From pitchers to outfielders, there’s always a handful of players that shine. Sometimes it’s a veteran, sometimes it’s a young guy trying to make a name for himself. It never fails, however, as someone always steals the show. On a team as talented as the Washington Nationals, you can expect there to be numerous standouts in Spring Training.
They’ll play a months worth of baseball before the regular season and you can expect the usual names to step up. They may start slow, but by the end of Spring Training, they should be in full swing and making plays.
For the Washington Nationals, there are seven players that you can expect to play well in Spring Training. While others will be getting off to slow starts and still working out the kinks, these guys will be looking more than ready for Opening Day. They’ll be killing baseballs and making plenty of web gems in the field. There is no specific requirement to make this list. Simply put, it’s a compilation of players you can expect making headlines for the Nationals this Spring.
Are there any players not listed that you think will stand out in Spring Training? Let us know and leave a comment in the box below.
7. Jayson Werth
Jayson Werth was practically unconscious he was playing so well at the end of 2014. After getting off to a slow start, he finished the season batting .318 with 82 RBI and 25 home runs. Last year, Werth batted .327 in Spring Training and you should expect to see a similar performance this Spring.
6. Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann was the team’s ace on the mound in 2013. In 32 starts, he went 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA, 161 strikeouts and 40 walks. The Nationals' pitching staff will be one of the MLB’s best in 2014 and expect to see that dominance early in Spring Training.
5. Tyler Clippard
While the bullpen struggled in 2013, Tyler Clippard did not. In 71 innings of work, he posted a 2.41 ERA with 73 strikeouts. He was a very reliable arm out of the bullpen and I expect him to be solid again in 2014. It all starts in Spring Training, however, and you can expect him to be his usual shutdown self.
4. Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond is a gamer. Last year, he collected 17 hits including six RBI and two home runs in Spring Training. Desmond is a very steady player at shortstop and is becoming more and more reliable. Look for him to have a standout Spring and to be more than ready for Opening Day.
3. Matt Skole
It would be too easy to just put seven major leaguers on this list, so I’ve added a minor leaguer that could, and should, shine. Last Spring, Matt Skole tore it up. In 24 Spring Training at bats, he finished with a slash line of .250/.406/.333. He knocked in five RBI and hit two doubles and three triples. While he ultimately was sent back to the minors and suffered a season ending injury, expect him to bring his big bat back to Florida.
2. Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg is one of the most consistent arms in MLB. While last year his win-loss record wasn’t fantastic, it was not because he lacked quality pitching. He still pitched to a 3.00 ERA with 191 strikeouts and just 56 walks. Expect him to be his dominant self in Spring Training.
1. Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper’s knee may be a big storyline heading into Spring Training, but the guy is a gamer. He treats every game, whether it’s the regular season or preseason, like it’s his last and gives it his all. He’ll want to test his knee, so he’ll be going all out in practice and the games. Expect him to put up some big numbers.