First baseman – Matt Adams
With Ryan Zimmerman‘s struggles early on, the Nationals worked Adams into the lineup more. He’s rewarded them with 13 home runs, a .275 batting average, and a .926 OPS.
The key to Adams’ success has been his ability to flat-out rake against right-handers. He’s hit 12 of his 13 homers against righties, and he owns a .978 OPS against them. While against southpaws he has a pedestrian .670 OPS.
He’s impressed so much this year, that when Zimmerman was swinging it well again, they worked him into left field. To the surprise of many, he didn’t look out of place there, or at first base defensively.
In 129.1 innings in left field last season, he had a negative five Defensive Runs Saved. Whereas this year, in 93 innings he has just a negative one DRS. A vast improvement.
However, Adams suffered a broken finger when he was hit by a pitch in the series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. Now he’s looking likely to be out for a few weeks at the very least.
Despite the injury, the Nats acquired a fantastic bench/platoon piece in Matt Adams. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite keep up his torrid early pace, but he was still enough for a great grade. A