Washington Nationals: Opening Day 2017 Roster Projection

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Feb 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals teammates warm up during spring training workouts at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals teammates warm up during spring training workouts at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

CF Adam Eaton

It was a tough call to decide who the leadoff hitter should be on this team. While Dusty Baker has two good options, Eaton would be the choice for me. Back in December, I wrote that Eaton should be the leadoff hitter over Turner, so I would stick with that prediction.

In 2016, Eaton saw 3.78 pitches per plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. That was actually a downgrade from the 4.03 pitches per appearance he saw in 2015 (151 games). While Turner did a good job at the leadoff spot down the stretch, Eaton should get the first opportunity.

If you look at the 2016 White Sox, the most surprising stat from their team had to be who led their team in stolen bases. You would think it would be Eaton, but it ended up being third baseman Todd Frazier (15 stolen bases).

While Eaton stole 14 bases last year, he only attempted 19 total stolen bases. With Baker and first base coach Davey Lopes emphasizing aggressiveness on the bases, Eaton seems like he can be a player that easily get to 20 steals in that scenario.

Yes, the Washington Nationals gave up a lot of young pitching to get him. We can debate in the future whether or not it ends up being a good deal for them. But, for now, the Nats have themselves a good top of the order hitter with speed and one that can make some good defensive plans in center field.

Plus, it allows last year’s center fielder to move to his natural position.

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