Washington Nationals News: Bryce Harper aims to build on MVP campaign


Today’s District Daily discusses Bryce Harper‘s expectations for 2016 and why Yusmeiro Petit decided to join the Washington Nationals.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses Bryce Harper’s goals for the 2016 season. As Ladson writes, Harper is coming off a historic, MVP-winning 2015 campaign — but the young superstar isn’t satisfied.

Harper hopes to improve in all aspects of the game next season, which isn’t surprising for one of the most competitive players in baseball. The outfielder was historically good last season, hitting .330 with 42 home runs, 99 RBIs, a .460 on-base percentage and a 1.109 OPS.

More from District on Deck

Granted, there’s not a whole lot of room for improvement for Harper after he led the league in almost every offensive category (and played stellar defense) all season long in 2015. But at just 23 years old, there’s no doubt that Harper is still learning and should continue to improve at the plate, on the bases and in the field.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses why reliever Yusmeiro Petit decided to sign with the Nationals earlier this offseason.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Harper aims to build on MVP campaign

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Even though he won the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player Award, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper wants to improve in all aspects of his game going forward.

With Davey Lopes as the first-base coach, Harper wants to get better when it comes to running the bases. Harper would like to steal more bases than he did in the past. He hopes new manager Dusty Baker will allow him to do just that. Harper plans to pick Baker’s brain when it comes to hitting and outfield defense. After all, Baker was one of the best all-around players during the 1970s and ’80s. Read full article here.

Yusmeiro Petit says he picked the Nationals because they’re ‘always in contention’

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

The Nationals and fans have one lasting image of Yusmeiro Petit: during Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series, the little-known long reliever entered in the 12th and tossed six one-hit innings, allowing the Giants to win the longest playoff game in history. Petit’s fastball averaged 88.9 mph that season, and 88.5 mph in 2015. Just like he did that chilly October day, he thrived on command and movement of his pitches.

So with an obvious void to fill following the non-tender of long-time pitcher Craig Stammen, the Nationals signed the 31-year-old Petit to a one-year deal with $3 million guaranteed, including a club option for 2017 that vests after 80 innings in 2016. Read full article here.