Washington Nationals: Who should hit leadoff next season?
By Blake Finney
The case for Adam Eaton
The argument for starting Adam Eaton at the top of the order is simple. As Brad Pitt once said, “he gets on base.” So he’s one of the more appealing candidates for the Washington Nationals as they construct their batting order.
Eaton lost some power as he was only able to record a .411 slugging percentage last season, the lowest he’s had for four years. But he was still an on-base machine as he possessed a .394 on-base percentage, which was the highest of his career.
He was second on the team in OBP behind Juan Soto, but obviously with the same power numbers. Therefore, with his experience at the top of the order and the fact he still get on base at an elite clip, he’s one of the better choices to fill the void.
However, the drawback to using Eaton atop the lineup is that his speed is limited, even more so after a pair of injuries in his time as a National. Last season, he only stole nine bases after stealing at least 14 during his three-year spell with the Chicago White Sox.
But he is at least a smart baserunner and isn’t one that necessarily makes mistakes on the base, which is key before the big hitters come up. He also has Dave Martinez’s trust atop the order, as shown by him being the most frequent choice there. Consider him the favorite for the job.