(Photo Credit: AP/Gregory Smith)
When you look at the Washington Nationals all-time stats, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess that Ronnie Belliard would have the best average in a single season from a second baseman in Washington history. That happened in 2007 when Belliard hit .290 (Vidro hit .289 in 2006).
The player that signed as a free agent in December of 2006 after nine seasons with the Brewers, Rockies, Indians, and Cardinals hit 11 home runs in 2007 and 2008, his first two seasons in Washington DC. His .290 batting average in ’07 was second on the team behind first baseman Dmitri Young, who hit . 320 and his .427 slugging percentage was fourth on the team that year.
When you look at his 2008 season, Belliard only appeared in 96 games as he had the second most appearances at the position with Felipe Lopez playing in 100 games. Even in a smaller role, Belliard was still fourth in home runs and second in slugging percentage (.473) on the team that season. Only Elijah Dukes had a higher slugging percentage.
The player that was part of the Cardinals 2006 World Series team would play the bulk of the 2009 season in Washington, hitting .246 with five homers and 22 RBI’s in 86 games. Right at the August waiver deadline, Belliard was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Victor Garate and Luis Garcia to help LA in their run toward the NLCS that season.
While Belliard was one of the better power hitters in franchise history at that position and had a solid glove (second in the NL in fielding percentage in 2007 at .989), he falls just short of topping the player who receives this honor on the All-District team.
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