Close Article Return to stream X
MLB

Analyzing Washington Nationals’ 2014 Opening Day Lineup

Analyzing the Nationals' Opening Day Lineup

Washington Nationals
Getty Images

As we are just days away from Opening Day, so let’s take a look at the Washington Nationals' projected starting lineup. Here you’ll find my projected starting nine and a little bit about them and their season outlook.

1. Denard Span - CF

Denard Span
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

1. Denard Span - CF

Denard Span
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Span will once again lead things off for the Nationals. There’s not much of a question here as he fits the mold. He’s a solid contact hitter and certainly proved that in 2013. With Matt Williams wanting to be more aggressive on the basepaths, having a guy like Span who can leadoff with a base hit and then steal a bag is a wonderful luxury.

2. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B

Ryan Zimmerman
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B

Ryan Zimmerman
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Zimmerman isn’t a power hitter, but he is still a hitter that opposing pitchers should take seriously. He’ll do well in a role to move Span around the bags. He’s a solid situational hitter, and that’s exactly what you want when you have a leadoff man like Span.

3. Bryce Harper - LF

Bryce Harper
Getty Images

3. Bryce Harper - LF

Bryce Harper
Getty Images

Expect Harper to have a wacky season at the plate. Due to his size and strength, he could very well lead the league in homer and strikeouts. I like him batting third. He’s got the power to hit homers, so you want him to be behind some guys who can get on base. At same time, putting him in front of the cleanup man is beneficial because Harper does a solid job of reaching base.

4. Jayson Werth - RF

Jayson Werth
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jayson Werth - RF

Jayson Werth
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Was there any question? Jayson Werth had a career year in 2013 and is finally living up to his 6 million contract. After finishing the season batting above .300, Werth could end up a front-runner for the Silver Slugger award in 2014. He’s a great hitter and you certainly want him at the plate with runners on base, especially when all three are occupied.

5. Ian Desmond - SS

Ian Desmond
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

5. Ian Desmond - SS

Ian Desmond
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Why not have a couple of power hitters back-to-back? Desmond can hit for singles or for home runs -- it doesn’t matter. He’s developing into quite the all-around shortstop and the Nationals should be excited about his 2014 season.

6. Adam LaRoche - 1B

Adam LaRoche
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

6. Adam LaRoche - 1B

Adam LaRoche
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There’s room for Adam LaRoche to improve after his 2013 season saw all of his power numbers drop from 2012. Putting him near the back-end of the lineup still keeps it dangerous all the way around; but at the same time, it gives him room to move up. I’m not sold on his consistency, but he has the potential for a solid season at the plate.

7. Anthony Rendon - 2B

Anthony Rendon
Getty Images

7. Anthony Rendon - 2B

Anthony Rendon
Getty Images

If your second baseman not named Robinson Cano can hit 10-15 dingers and 60-70 RBIs, that’s pretty good. Anthony Rendon can give the Nationals that. Putting him seventh in the lineup still leaves him guys who can get on base ahead of him, but he’s also someone who can reach base, as well.

8. Wilson Ramos - Catcher

Wilson Ramos
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

8. Wilson Ramos - C

Wilson Ramos
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Nicknamed “The Buffalo,” Wilson Ramos is a hidden gem at the end of the order. Usually, you see pitchers intentionally walking the No. 8 hitter so they can get to the pitcher, but Ramos get’s walked because he’s just that dangerous of a hitter. Due to his hidden power, I view him as a top-five hitter on the team.

Your Favorites