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: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

3B Anthony Rendon

Unlike 2015, Rendon got a chance to play in a full spring training last season and was able to stay healthy. When he is on the field, Rendon is one of the better third basemen in the National League. Last year, he hit 20 home runs for the second time in his career and he was one of the team’s best hitters during the second half of the season.

After the All-Star break, Rendon hit .291 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI’s and had a .357 on-base percentage. With all the talent at the top of this lineup, Rendon is a fit for the sixth spot because of how he played in that spot a season ago.

Out of the sixth spot in the lineup, the Washington Nationals third baseman hit .309 with seven home runs, 18 RBI’s, and had an on-base percentage of .399 in 35 games. His 38 hits were also tied with Aaron Hill for the ninth most of any number six hitter in the National League.

While you can never predict injuries, Rendon is one of those hitters that you can pencil in for 15-20 home runs when he’s on the field. He did not have a good postseason in 2016, but that shouldn’t carry over into the regular season in 2017.

In addition to being a strong power hitter, Rendon is patient at the plate and waits for his pitches. In the two seasons in which he has played more than 100 games, he has seen about four pitches per plate appearance (3.97 in 2014 and 4.02 in 2016). If that trend continues, expect another breakout season from the third baseman.

 

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