Jun 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Denard Span (2) makes a sliding catch on a fly ball during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Another player that has never made an All-Star appearance, Denard Span, has manned centerfield at a Gold Glove-caliber level while producing at the top of the Nationals lineup as well as any leadoff hitter in the league. Hitting .310/.375/.440 on the year with 20 extra base hits, 11 steals, and 24 walks in 57 games, the speedy lefty has been more than worth his $9 million team option for this season.
Among center fielders that have played at least 50 games this season, Span ranks first in batting average, second in on-base percentage, fourth in doubles, and tied for fifth in stolen bases. He is arguably the best fielder among them, and one of the few bona fide leadoff hitters. While Denard has no chance of making the team via the fan vote, he still has a shot at making it as a reserve or injury replacement.
Throughout his career as a National, Denard Span has established himself as the table setter of the Washington lineup and a vital key to the team’s success. Now a free agent-to-be, Span has seen that his days in a Nationals uniform are numbered, and taken that and turned it into success on the field.
The Nationals have a talented roster filled with players very deserving of making the All-Star Game. Whether it be Bryce Harper’s power or Drew Storen’s mystifying slider, the possibilities of what this team can accomplish extend as far as the Commissioner’s Trophy. While the Nats are practically guaranteed to have two players donning the curly W in Cincinnati on July 14th, the Washington club boasts other players who may make the team as well. MLB releases the starters tonight at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN, and the pitchers and reserves will be chosen on Monday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN. How many Nationals will make the team? Tune in to find out.