Alfonso Soriano, 2006
Stats: 159 games, .277/.351/.560, .911 OPS, 179 hits, 41 doubles, 46 home runs, 119 runs scored, 95 RBIs, 41 stolen bases, 67 walks, and 160 strikeouts
Awards: All-Star, Silver Slugger, 6th in MVP voting
"“We love Alfonso. We love what he does, lots of people do. Let’s face it, he’s a potential MVP candidate. It goes without saying that he’s a superior player. But, you know, our No. 1 mission is [being the best] team we can as soon as possible.” – Former Nationals president Stan Kasten, 2006 (h/t Bill Ladson, MLB.com)"
A year after faltering down the stretch in their inaugural season in D.C., the Nationals’ front office made a big splash over the offseason. The team struck a deal with the Rangers for Alfonso Soriano, bringing the Dominican native to Washington for his final year of arbitration before hitting free agency. While the Nats were once again unable to compete in the NL East, Soriano was busy putting together the fourth 40-40 campaign in MLB history.
Soriano was the lone representative of the Nationals at the Midsummer Classic, a trend that Washington would continue every season until sending four players to the All-Star Game in 2012. He was the leadoff man for a club that finished 23rd in the Majors in runs scored. With 214 combined runs scored and RBIs, Soriano accounted for nearly 29 percent of the Nationals’ total runs. He holds team records for home runs, stolen bases, and runs scored in a season. Washington may have had a few years where they really didn’t have an All-Star worthy player, but Soriano’s spectacular season was certainly deserving.