Washington Nationals: Ranking the Shortstops of the NL East

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Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Trea Turner (7) follows through on a swing for a single during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Trea Turner (7) follows through on a swing for a single during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (2) runs to the dugout against the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (2) runs to the dugout against the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves

All eyes are on the rising star in Atlanta. Despite having a little over one quarter of season in the major league under his belt, Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson comes in at number three in the NL East shortstop rankings.

A former number one draft pick out of Vanderbilt, Swanson was acquired by the Braves last season via a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of their ongoing rebuilding effort. The Marietta, Georgia native is unquestionably one of the most highly touted prospects to come through Atlanta in recent years.

In his limited time with the Braves, Swanson has flashes of his potential, giving Atlanta fans reason to be exciting about the years ahead. His offense early on has shown promise. In 38 games at the plate for the Braves last season, Swanson had a .302/.361/.442 slash line with 39 hits, 17 RBI, seven doubles, and three home runs.

Defensively, Swanson still has some rookie jitters to shake out of his fielding. In 37 games at shortstop for the Braves last season, Swanson had six errors. Statistically his numbers were better in his time with Atlanta’s Double-A affiliate where he had a total of eight errors in 83 games.

As with Trea Turner of the Nationals, Swanson has room to improve in this area – and history suggests he will do just that. It would be no surprise if Swanson was challenging for a higher ranking among NL East shortstops by midseason.

Add Swanson in with the rest of a revitalized Braves infield and lineup and it’s only a matter of time before meaningful baseball is being played in Atlanta after the All-Star break.

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