But as the MLB trade deadline nears, Span has stepped his game up to another level. In the the two games after the All-Star break, Span is 5-for-9, and in the last week he is 7-for-14 with three runs and one stolen base. In the last month, Span is hitting .298. His great leadoff hitting over the last 30days has brought his season average up to a respectable .276.
The Nationals’ main concern over Span’s play early in the year was his streaky hitting. Span has proven that he is the reliable leadoff hitter the team needs.
Span continues to lead the Nationals in doubles with 29 and stolen bases with 16. He is creating scoring situations when he gets on base. The rumors surrounding Span’s future with the team have subsided over the recent weeks, and his play has to be taken into account as part of the reason for that.
The Nationals need a strong leadoff hitter down the stretch if they intend to make a playoff run. If Span continues to play well, he could secure his spot in center field for next year. Fellow outfielder Jayson Werth has also raised his batting average, now hitting .281 on the year. With the great play of both Span and Werth of late, left fielder Bryce Harper is the odd man out, hitting just .213 over the last month.
While Harper and others get back into their groove, Span will continue to carry the Nationals with great leadoff hitting.