Photo courtesy of Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
No. 2: Alfonso Soriano
If our number two player on this list had his way, he wouldn’t have even been eligible for the list because he never would have set foot in left field. Unfortunately for him – and fortunately for Nationals fans – Alfonso Soriano eventually consented to his move to the outfield, and one of the biggest offensive seasons in the 10 years of the team happened.
By the time he arrived in DC in December of 2005, after the Nats had just completed the first season of the post-Montreal era, Soriano was already well known. He had already spent six seasons, from 1998 to 2003, playing second base for the New York Yankees. He was then the key piece in the trade that brought A-Rod to the Big Apple when he was sent to Texas, where he spent two seasons before being traded to the Nationals.
Though he initially balked at the idea of playing left field, Soriano turned out to be decent at the position. At second base, he was prone to losing concentration and booting routine ground balls, but his defensive numbers in left actually turned out decent. In his single season with the Nats, Soriano posted a UZR/150 of 5.4.
But where Soriano really excelled was at the plate. In 728 plate appearances, Soriano drove in 95 runs with 46 homers and an OPS of .911. He also matched Josh Willingham’s WAR of 5.0 in a single year. Soriano, always the speedster, also managed to steal 41 bases that year.
While he could have easily made the top spot on our list of top left fielders for the Nationals, the fact that Soriano only spent one season in Washington lands him one spot short.
Next: Number 1