Washington Nationals: Top Five Players of 2016 Season
Another postseason trip looms for the Washington Nationals. Which players excelled during a successful regular season?
The Washington Nationals finished the 2016 season with 95 wins and a third National League East division championship in five years.
Behind the relaxed hand of first-year skipper Dusty Baker, the Nats nearly went wire-to-wire. By season’s end, they bested the New York Mets by a healthy eight games.
Although injuries played a bigger role than anyone hoped, shutting Wilson Ramos down with a knee injury for example, Washington was never seriously challenged. If you thought they could survive an off year by Bryce Harper and an inconsistent Jonathan Papelbon, then you saw the emergence of Trea Turner and Joe Ross into big roles.
Starting pitching is this team’s biggest strength. Defense is a close second followed by the most prolific offense in Washington Nationals history.
With Mark Melancon anchoring the bullpen, the jobs by Shawn Kelley and Blake Treinen getting games to Melancon to finish gave Baker piece of mind.
From April to October, the Nats played hard and never finished a month with a losing record. Almost 2.5 million of you turned out this year at National Park while the rest of you enjoyed the summer watching Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo on MASN or listened to Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler on 106.7 The Fan.
On a team that played as one all year, here are the five who excelled the most. Based on their Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement numbers, these five made watching the Washington Nationals fun in 2016.