Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in 4-game visit to Citi Field

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Michael Conforto

Conforto missed all of the Cubs because of a bad back, so keep a eye on his health status heading into the series. He’s been key to the Mets offense because he gives them power out of the leadoff spot. Plus, even with Cespedes back in the lineup, he is going to get a chance to play.

During the month of May, the 24-year-old hit .307 with seven home runs and drove in 21 runs (led the team in both categories). When he’s hitting leadoff, he is hitting .348 with seven solo home runs. His seven homers are second in the National League behind Scott Schebler of the Cincinnati Reds (eight).

Being in New York, I get the chance to watch Conforto everyday. His offense stands out as always, but his defense has improved as well. He gets to more balls in left field and he made some good defensive plays when the Mets were at Nats Park last April.

This year, Conforto has been a tough hitter for Washington Nationals pitchers to get out. In six games, he is 10-for-24 at the plate (.417) with four home runs and seven RBI’s. Three of those home runs have come against starting pitching, including one hit off of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

While Conforto is not your prototypical leadoff hitter, his home run power can easily change the momentum of a game. It’s a Mets offense that relies on the home run and Conforto fits right in. It’s safe to say that his sophomore slump from last season hasn’t carried over into this season.

Next: Problems deeper than closer

Who are your players that you are watching in this four game series? Let us know in the comments section below.