Washington Nationals: Five Who Must Step Up In 2017

Mar 28, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) makes a diving stop to throw out Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (not pictured) at first base during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) makes a diving stop to throw out Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (not pictured) at first base during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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RYAN ZIMMERMAN

To expect Ryan Zimmerman to return to his pre-injury level of productivity is not realistic. But, he should hit better than .218 and carry an Adjusted OPS+ of 69 like last year.

A streaky hitter, like we have seen this spring, Zimmerman must re-establish his batting eye and draw more than the occasional walk. He can sting the ball as hard as anybody, but when thing go bad they are hit at fielders or on the ground.

Whatever the change was around 10 days ago in West Palm Beach, Zimmerman is lacing balls airborne and doing a better job protecting the plate. If he carries that approach though the season, there is no reason his batting average cannot climb above .240 with a chance at 20 homers.

Of all the players with the Nats, no one would enjoy a deep championship run more than Zimmerman. His body is not capable of the efforts from 2007-13, but his years of experience can navigate the team and himself through a storm.

Watch his swings and strikeout totals. Expect Dusty Baker to rest him more often giving Adam Lind the chance to fill in.

A fresher Zimmerman can really help, especially down the stretch when everyone is tired.