2017 Washington Nationals Top 10 Insider

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Talent Infusion: Draft Report Card

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SEASON IN A SENTENCE: The Nationals won 12 more games than they did in 2015 and wound up with the second-best record in baseball despite a down year by 2015 MVP Bryce Harper, getting 20 or more homers from six different players to win the National League East.

HIGH POINT: For all the offensive balance, Max Scherzer continued to be the team’s ace, going 2007, 2.96 and leading the majors with 284 strikeouts in 228.1 innings. Scherzer had 13 double-digit strikeouts games, none better than his record-tying 20 strikeouts against his former team, Detroit, on May 11. Scherzer threw an absurd 96 strikes out of his 119 pitches, walking none.

LOW POINT: The Nats continued to struggle in the playoffs, losing their third division series in five years. This time, it was the Dodgers who did in the Nationals and Dusty Baker, the third manager to lose a playoff series for the franchise in D.C. Washington led the series two games to one but lost Game Four in L.A. 6-5, then lost 4-3 in Game Five when its offense couldn’t dent Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw, who got the final two outs on one day’s rest to clinch the series.

NOTABLE ROOKIES: The Nats didn’t open a spot for Trea Turner, but he seized one, shifting to second base and then center field. No matter where Turner played, he hit, igniting Washington’s offense with blazing speed and surprising power. He led rookies with 33 stolen bases despite playing less than half the season in the majors, and his .567 slugging percentage ranked third, behind Gary Sanchez and Trevor Story, among rookies with 200 or more at-bats. Righty Reynaldo Lopez and lefty Sammy Solis logged key innings down the stretch.

KEY TRANSACTIONS: Offseason free-agent pickup Daniel Murphy (.347, 25 homers) was one of the majors’ best hitters. GM Mike Rizzo’s big in-season moves involved releasing Jonathan Papelbon and replacing him with Mark Melancon, acquired from the Pirates for lefthanders Taylor Hearn and Felipe Rivero. Washington also traded for lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, giving up top performer Max Schrock.

DOWN ON THE FARM: Washington affiliates posted a .508 winning percentage and had two playoff clubs, led by low Class A Hagerstown going 83-57, the South Atlantic League’s best record. Double-A Harrisburg outfielder Rafael Bautista tied for the minor-league lead with 56 stolen bases during a .282/.344/.341 season.

OPENING DAY PAYROLL: $141,652,646 (11th)

Best Hitter for Average Victor Robles
Best Power Hitter Matt Skole
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Austin Davidson
Fastest Baserunner Rafael Bautista
Best Athlete Victor Robles
Best Fastball Koda Glover
Best Curveball Joan Baez
Best Slider Erick Fedde
Best Changeup A.J. Cole
Best Control Jaron Long
Best Defensive Catcher Pedro Severino
Best Defensive Infielder Jose Sanchez
Best Infield Arm Kelvin Gutierrez
Best Defensive Outfielder Victor Robles
Best Outfield Arm Victor Robles
Catcher Pedro Severino
First Base Daniel Murphy
Second Base Wilmer Difo
Third Base Anthony Rendon
Shortstop Trea Turner
Left Field Adam Eaton
Center Field Victor Robles
Right Field Bryce Harper
No. 1 Starter Max Scherzer
No. 2 Starter Stephen Strasburg
No. 3 Starter Erick Fedde
No. 4 Starter Joe Ross
No. 5 Starter Austin Voth
Closer Koda Glover
Year Player, Pos. 2016 Org
2007 Collin Balester, rhp Korea
2008 Chris Marrero, 1b Red Sox
2009 Jordan Zimmermann, rhp Tigers
2010 Stephen Strasburg, rhp Nationals
2011 Bryce Harper, of Nationals
2012 Anthony Rendon, 3b Nationals
2013 Lucas Giolito, rhp Nationals
2014 Lucas Giolito, rhp Nationals
2015 Lucas Giolito, rhp Nationals
2016 Lucas Giolito, rhp Nationals
Year Player, Pos. 2016 Org
2007 Ross Detwiler, lhp Athletics
2008 *Aaron Crow, rhp Cubs
2009 Stephen Strasburg, rhp Nationals
2010 Bryce Harper, of Nationals
2011 Anthony Rendon, 3b Nationals
2012 Lucas Giolito, rhp Nationals
2013 Jake Johansen, rhp (2nd round) Nationals
2014 Erick Fedde, rhp Nationals
2015 Andrew Stevenson, of (2nd round) Nationals
2016 Carter Kieboom, ss Nationals
*Did not sign
Stephen Strasburg, 2009 $7,500,000
Bryce Harper, 2010 $6,250,000
Anthony Rendon, 2011 $6,000,000
Yasel Antuna, ss $3,900,000
Brian Goodwin, 2011 $3,000,000

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