The Washington Nationals are going to have some interesting lineup decisions to make next season. One of those will be deciding who hits atop the order.
With the future of Bryce Harper still up in the air, the Washington Nationals lineup could look very different next season. One of the decisions the team will have to make is who should hit leadoff for them, with several worthy candidates for the job.
Last season, the Nationals had seven different leadoff hitters throughout the season. Those seven players were Adam Eaton, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor, Juan Soto, and Victor Robles.
In that group, you have an interesting combination of on-base skills, speed and some power, which seems to be a new trend in the leadoff spot. However, with Harper still a free agent and Goodwin now with the Kansas City Royals, that leaves five who could occupy that spot, if the team played tomorrow.
In the five remaining players, they all offer a little of everything that will give manager Dave Martinez plenty of choices. There’s some raw speed with Turner, Robles, and Taylor, on-base skills with Eaton and then arguably the team’s best hitter in Soto.
In general, Martinez favored Eaton when he was healthy as he was in the leadoff spot for 73 games, the most on the team. However, with Eaton injured for a fair amount last season, we saw Turner hit first 63 times last year. Robles also led off for 10 of the 24 games the team had after his call-up, which means these are our three most likely contenders.
We break down the case for each of these players to lead off next season and then throw in some other wildcard candidates to the mix. First up is that man who led off the most, Adam Eaton.