One of the more under the radar Washington Nationals is Adam Eaton, but the veteran right fielder quietly has gotten off to a great start in 2019.
With the star power Washington possesses, the veteran right fielder tends to fly under the radar more often than not. If you dive deeper into the stats and look into the value he brings to the team, it turns out Eaton is one of the Nationals most valuable players.
Eaton has gotten off to a great start in 2019 at the top of the Nationals lineup, hitting to a line of .317/.391/.402 and driving in six runs to go with three stolen bases.
In games that Eaton has recorded two or more hits in, the Nationals are 5-2 this season, and when he has driven in a run Washington is undefeated at 4-0.
If you go back to 2018, in games that Eaton drove in a run the Nationals were 16-8, in 2017 they were 7-3.
It is pretty clear how much Eaton means to the Nationals lineup, and when he is getting on base and driving in runs they clearly perform better as a team.
Since coming over from the Chicago White Sox in 2016 Eaton has always been extremely productive when able to stay on the field in D.C. He has never hit lower than .297 in his two seasons with the Nationals and never has had an on-base percentage lower than .393.
If you are a long-time Nationals fan you may remember the kind of impact Denard Span had at the top of the Washington order. When he would succeed and get on base, it seemed more often than not the Nationals were going to win that game.
We are starting to see the same effect with Eaton. When he is able to get on base and drive in runs, Washington wins games. When he struggles at the top of the order, their lineup struggles.
The key for the Nationals is just to keep Adam Eaton on the field, and they could benefit from giving him some more days off with Michael Taylor back in the fold in the outfield.
If his start to the season is any indication of how it will go, the Washington Nationals are in good hands if Adam Eaton keeps performing the way he has to start the season.