Washington Nationals: Predicting the 2018 bench

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 22: Wilmer Difo
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 22: Wilmer Difo /
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Brian Goodwin

As we saw with Michael Taylor filling in for Adam Eaton in 2017, the role of a back-up outfielder is extremely important. As things currently stand, Taylor will be the Nats’ starting center fielder in 2018, so Goodwin will take over as the primary back-up outfielder.

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The 27-year-old former first-round draft pick broke out in 2017, batting .251 with 13 homers in 74 games. Goodwin excels at putting the ball in play and can cause chaos with his speed, but he also possesses sneaky pop, as his 13 homers in limited playing time would suggest.

In addition to producing offensively, Goodwin is also a great defender in the outfield. He is capable of playing all three outfield positions, and always showcases his athleticism, including exceptional speed and a great throwing arm.

The fact that Goodwin is coming off of the best season of his career gives him great trade value, and makes him one of the Nats’ best trades chips. The Nats also have a surplus of young outfielders, so Goodwin is somewhat expendable.

However, he currently projects to be the Nats’ primary back-up outfielder. With the Nats’ training staff seemingly working more than a cashier on Black Friday, especially with outfielders, Goodwin is an enormous asset off of the bench.

Next: Bryce Harper's looming decision tough on everyone

The Nats are in a prime position to win it all in 2018, which is clearly the goal with Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Gio Gonzalez all set to become free agents after the season. They are among the most injured teams in the league, and a major injury could derail the season if they do not have a competent bench. With this projected bench, they will be prepared and able to deal with any possible injuries.