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MLB Washington Nationals

5 Washington Nationals With Greatest Room For Improvement

5 Washington Nationals With Greatest Room For Improvement

Washington Nationals
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The Washington Nationals are in first place in the NL East. While the team is playing great overall, there is still room for improvement. If these five players can step up their game down the stretch, the Nationals will cruise into the playoffs with a solid roster top to bottom. The Nationals will need everyone at the top of their game going into the final months of the season.

5. Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond Nationals
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5. Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond Nationals
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SS Ian Desmond is one of the Nationals' best power hitters. He leads the team in both home runs and RBIs. Desmond is only hitting for a .241 average though and the Nationals need more consistency from him at the plate. As a strong power hitter, the team needs Desmond to continue to come through with runners on base.

4. Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez Nationals
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4. Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez Nationals
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SP Gio Gonzalez is 6-8 on the season and his ERA has slipped to 4.01. He has struggled since the All-Star break, having posted just an 0-3 record through four starts in the second half so far. His fellow starters are carrying the load, but the Nationals will need to rely on Gonzalez in August and September.

3. Adam LaRoche

Adam LaRoche Nationals
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3. Adam LaRoche

Adam LaRoche Nationals
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1B Adam LaRoche was the team's best hitter early in the season. He was batting well over .300 for much of the first half of the season. Since then, his average has slipped and he is only hitting .242 in the last month. While his production hasn't fallen off the map, the Nationals need more from their No. 4 hitter.

2. Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper Nationals
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2. Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper Nationals
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OF Bryce Harper has had an up and down season. He hit well initially, but was sidelined by a thumb injury. Harper hasn't found his swing since returning from injury and is hitting for a .254 average. With 3B Ryan Zimmerman out of the lineup due to a hamstring injury, Harper must find his groove at the plate to help the Nationals win games.

1. Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
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1. Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
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SP Stephen Strasburg was once thought to be the ace of the Nationals' starting rotation. He is just 8-10 on the year with a 3.68 ERA. Despite his tremendous ability to strikeout batters, he has been unable to win games as of late. Strasburg struggles early in his starts and needs to find a way to command hitters with his fastball from the start of games. The team needs him and Gonzalez to round out the rotation if they intend to win.

Harry Floyd is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @floydhe, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.