Washington Nationals: Grading April’s Performance

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Apr 30, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam Lind (26) celebrates with Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) after hitting a home run against the New York Mets in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 23-5. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam Lind (26) celebrates with Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) after hitting a home run against the New York Mets in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 23-5. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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INFIELD

For our purposes, we are talking the four Opening Day starters and not the bench and Wilmer Difo.

With Anthony Rendon’s Sunday display of production, the entire starting offense has an OPS+ over 100. As a team, it is 129. Drop the pitchers and it is 138. The team is 35 percent above average in production compared to the rest of the NL.

That production starts with Ryan Zimmerman. His OPS+ of 243 leads the team. A .420 batting average, 11 home runs and 29 RBI—in 24 games—will do that. If Zimmerman continues to produce at this level, he would record the sixth-highest OPS+ in history. Ahead of all but one year of Babe Ruth’s career. (1920)

Trea Turner returned from the disabled list to hit for the cycle against the Colorado Rockies. Red-hot, he pushed his average up to .317 and has an OPS+ of 134. His seven doubles came on 66 at-bats.

Daniel Murphy picked up right where he left off last year. His nine doubles, five home runs and healthy .343 batting average gives him an OPS+ of 151. His on-field leadership adds intangibles not found on Baseball Reference. On a team of leaders, Murphy is among the highest.

Although Rendon struggled early, he had a better April than last year when he had a single RBI. His 10-RBI barrage bumped his batting average to .278 and the OPS+ to 103. The lowest numbers of any qualified starter. His d-WAR of 0.5 leads the team

As a unit, A+ all around. No four players could have performed better.

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