Washington Nationals: Predicting the 2018 Opening Day lineup

rjuckett
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Bryce Harper
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Bryce Harper /
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3B ANTHONY RENDON

.282-288 Avg. 21-23 HR 79-85 RBI .375-.382 OBP

Where Anthony Rendon hits this year will supply an endless array of articles.

The trend of placing your best hitter in the two-spot gained steam last year as Giancarlo Stanton crushed balls all over Miami. The Marlins lineup was decent making it hard to pitch around him

But, Harper struggles hitting second. With Jayson Werth gone, the best protection comes from Rendon and his ability to make pitchers grind though their arsenal. Rendon’s ability to draw walks and let Harper see a variety of pitches gives him the nod at two.

Perhaps later in the year, we see Eaton slide down here with Turner and his base stealing ability leading off. For now, moving Rendon from sixth to second gives the power part needed protection while giving Eaton a chance to steal if he wants.

Watch the last couple weeks of Grapefruit League action where Rendon is. A true hitter, anywhere in the middle of the order works. But, his ability to raise pitch counts makes him strong as the two-hole batter.

Those projected numbers are outstanding. If true Harper, Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman will get to the plate with plenty of RBI chances. Another year flirting with 40 doubles works too.

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