WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 24: Willie Harris #22 of the Washington Nationals slides into home plate for an inside the park home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 24, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
No. 5: Willie Harris
If you’re looking for a prime example of a journeyman, look no further than the number five player on our list. Over the course of his twelve seasons in the majors, Willie Harris spent time with six teams (Orioles, White Sox, Red Sox, Braves, Mets, Reds) other than the Nationals.
Harris also spent time all around the field for the Nationals. In addition to left field, where he played over 900 innings, Harris also played at second, third, shortstop, right field, and center field. If they had asked him to play catcher, I don’t doubt that Harris would have buckled on the pads.
Most likely Harris’ biggest asset was actually his fielding. According to his defensive scores at FanGraphs, Harris posted positive UZR scores at left field in all three seasons he spent with the Nationals. More than once Harris managed spectacularly athletic catches in the outfield.
Where Harris loses a few points (and what keeps him from being higher on our list) is performance at the plate. While he usually managed to walk enough to keep his on-base numbers decent, Harris only managed to hit over .250 once with the Nats, and his OPS numbers were average at best. He never particularly excelled at stealing bases either, though he did manage 20 homers total from 2008 through 2010.
While his prowess in the outfield and ability to play multiple positions were certainly huge boons to the Nationals defense, Willie Harris only makes it to number five on our list of top five Nationals left fielders.
Next: Number 4