Washington Nationals: Ranking Top 5 Early Spring Training Standouts
Five Standouts at Washington Nationals' Spring Training
Spring Training is in full swing (pun intended) for the MLB and it’s provided numerous players a chance to make a name for themselves. For the Washington Nationals, they’ve had several guys standout in the early going.
However, compiling a list like this isn’t an easy task. There are numerous pitchers and players on this roster that were supposed to play well. In fact, it would have been a shock if they hadn't put up the numbers that they have. While the stars are shining, there are some new names that have risen to the top of the stat sheet.
It doesn't just stop at the stat sheet, either. Players, young and old, have made web-gem hustle plays on the base paths and in the field. They say that defense wins championships and some guys have gotten fancy with the glove. If you’re manager Matt Williams, that’s something you like to see.
We've also seen several young guns step up and stand out. While the Nationals are pretty well set around the diamond, that doesn't mean some players can’t claim a spot on the bench or elevate their status in the farm system. Eventually, they’re all going to get their shot, so they need to make this spring count.
On the following five slides, you’ll find the top five early standouts at Spring Training for the Washington Nationals. This list includes notable players and some not-so-notable players. It doesn't matter what position they play, either. Simply put, if they've been making plays, they've made this list.
5. Jerry Blevins - Pitcher
One of the newest additions to the Nationals’ bullpen, Jerry Blevins has pitched well in his first two Spring Training appearances. The left-handed reliever has yet to give up a hit while striking out two. Early in the going, it certainly seems like this trade will workout for the best.
4. Matt Skole - Infielder
I tabbed Matt Skole before Spring Training as a prospect to watch and he has delivered. He’s 4-for-11 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs. Last spring, he made some noise with his bat and he’s doing it again this year. Expect him to only get better as the spring wears on.
3. Ian Desmond - Shortstop
Ian Desmond is looking like an early season Silver Slugger Award favorite. Entering Thursday’s matchup, he hit a home run in two consecutive games. So far this spring, Desmond is 4-for-10 with a double, his two homers and three RBIs. He’s also stolen three bases in as many attempts.
2. Brian Goodwin - Outfielder
He may be just 2-for-8 from the plate, but Brian Goodwin is playing much better than that. His two hits consist of a double and a homer, and he has three RBIs to go along with that. Goodwin has also walked three times and crossed home plate for a run five times. In the field, he’s been solid with his glove. Earlier this week, Goodwin made a web-gem diving catch in center field.
1. Zach Walters - Infielder
Zach Walters was sent to the minors last season after a brief stint in the majors and Davey Johnson told him to work on his power. Walters then finished the 2013 minor-league season with 29 homers. He’s brought his big bat with him to Spring Training and is doing well. He’s 6-for-7 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and three RBIs. The infielder is hitting his way to the Nationals’ Opening Day bench.