Nationals Opinions: Best Third Baseman In Team History

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3. Vinny Castilla

When the Nationals signed Vinny Castilla in November 2005, they thought they were getting a player that was going to be one of the key power hitters in their lineup. He was coming off of a stellar season in Colorado, where he hit .271 with 35 home runs and 131 RBI’s, which was the most in the National League. He was a player that had hit 20+ home runs in three of the last four seasons.

In 2005, Castilla’s only season with the Nats, he did put up some power numbers, but they weren’t the same as they were at Coors Field. He hit .253 with 12 home runs and 66 RBI’s. Those numbers were third on the team in both categories.

One of the oddities about Castilla’s season was that he hit .253 and had six home runs in both the first and second halves of the season. He did play 142 games at the position, which was his fourth straight year of 100+ games played and the last season of his career in which he would play that amount of games. At the end of the 2005 season, the Nationals traded Castilla to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Brian Lawrence and cash. Lawrence would not pitch one game in the Washington organization.

All in all, Castilla was still one of the better power hitters on that 2005 Nats squad and he was a very good fielder. He has the most putouts of any third baseman in the NL in ’05 and had the second best fielding percentage.While Castilla’s departure paved the way for Ryan Zimmermann, tough to ignore a player that chose to sign with Washington and be one of their key offensive bats in the inaugural season.

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