Washington Nationals: 5 potential 2018 x-factors

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Trea Turner

Although the Nats have plenty of power in the lineup, speed creates offense. Teams tend to live and die by the home run in today’s game, and the Nats cannot fall into that trap.

For this reason, Trea Turner is an integral member of the lineup. The young stud broke onto the scene in 2016, instantly transforming the Nats’ offense, and has established himself as one of the most dynamic players in the league.

Unfortunately, Turner was held back a bit in 2017. He fractured his wrist after being hit by a pitch, which forced him to miss two months. He eventually returned, but was not the same. While watching him struggle was frustrating, it was certainly understandable.

In true DC sports fashion, Turner’s struggles were on full display in the postseason. He recorded just three hits in the NLDS, and appeared lost at the plate. Non-coincidentally, the Nats’ offense struggled mightily. Similar to Dexter Fowler and the 2016 Cubs, the Nats go when Turner goes.

Despite missing two months and struggling towards the end of the season, Turner stole an incredible 46 bases. He ranked third in the majors, behind only Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton, which is especially impressive considering the time he missed.

If Turner is able to remain healthy in 2018, he will once again be among the most dynamic players in the league. If the Nats are going to finally exorcise their postseason demons, they need a productive Turner in the lineup everyday.