Washington Nationals News: At shortstop, Nats must chose between youth and experience

Sep 3, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) singles during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. This is Turner
Sep 3, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) singles during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. This is Turner /

Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ shortstop competition this spring and whether or not Bryce Harper can improve in 2016.

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 the Nationals’ competition for the Opening Day shortstop job. As Ladson notes, the Nationals have a choice to make between three intriguing candidates: youngster Trea Turner and veterans Danny Espinosa and Stephen Drew.

Each player brings some noticeable advantages to the table. Espinosa is a veteran who knows the Nationals well and can provide speed, elite defense and pinch-hitting abilities. Drew is a veteran who has seen success at the big league level before, and Turner is a prime prospect and the Nationals’ shortstop of the future.

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One way or another, the Nationals will have to make a decision this spring about who will start the season at shortstop. While Espinosa’s experience and his success last season could make him the favorite going into camp, the Nationals have three solid options for the job, and at this point, any of them could get the job.

Also in today’s Daily, Federal Baseball’s Patrick Reddington discusses whether Bryce Harper can improve on his MVP-winning 2015 campaign.

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.

Youth or experience? Nats have decision at SS

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Nationals manager Dusty Baker‘s first order of business is to figure out who will be his starting shortstop in 2016. General manager Mike Rizzo said there will be competition at the position during Spring Training between Danny EspinosaStephen Drewand Trea Turner.

The position became available after Ian Desmond declined the team’s qualifying offer and became a free agent this offseason.

Team sources have said Espinosa is the favorite. He has a great glove, but he has to show more consistency at the plate. If Espinosa wins the job, he will get a chance to play every day for the first time since 2012. The Nationals are hoping he can hit for power and drive in runs near the bottom of their order.

Washington Nationals’ 2016 Roster: Can Bryce Harper improve on 2015 campaign?

(Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

So… how do you improve on a 2015 campaign which saw you lead the National League in On-Base Percentage (.460 OBP), Slugging Percentage (.649 SLG), Wins Above Replacement (9.5 fWAR), Weighted On-Base Average (.461 wOBA), Weighted Runs Created Plus (198 wRC+), Isolated Power (.319 ISO), Runs Scored (118) and Home Runs (42, tied for first), finish second in the NL in Walks (124) and Batting Average (.330), and win the NL’s Most Valuable Player Award?

Bryce Harper was asked that question earlier this winter. His answer? Some variation of “there is always room for improvement.” But what parts of his game, specifically can he improve? Read full article here.