Washington Nationals: Top Ten Rookie Seasons in Nationals History
By Tim James
#8- Danny Espinosa- 2011
A switch-hitter with speed, power, and excellent defensive skills, Danny Espinosa’s rookie season in 2011 gave the Nationals hope that they had found a middle infield staple for years to come. Espinosa showed his power (21 homers) and speed (17 steals in 23 attempts) in his rookie campaign but also had difficulty making contact (166 strikeouts) which would ultimately be his undoing as a Nats’ regular.
#7- Tanner Roark- 2013
When the Nationals traded shortstop Cristian Guzman to the Texas Rangers in July 2010 for a pair of Minor League pitchers, the deal barely raised an eyebrow among Nats’ faithful. While expectations may have been low, hard-working Tanner Roark showed in 2013 that the deal was a great one for Mike Rizzo and the Nationals. Working both out of the bullpen and as a starter, Roark posted a 7-1 record with a sterling 1.51 ERA on the year. The durable righty would become a significant part of the Nats’ rotation for most of the next five years before being traded to Cincinnati after the 2018 season.
#6- Wilson Ramos- 2011
Few players have been as popular during their tenure in Washington as catcher Wilson Ramos. “The Buffalo” came to Washington in 2010 in another great trade by Rizzo, as the Nats’ GM dealt veteran reliever Matt Capps to Minnesota for the burly Venezuelan who was stuck behind Joe Mauer on the Twins’ depth chart. Ramos’ rookie season in DC was a successful one, as he slugged 15 homers and drove in 52 runs while hitting .267. He would be a Nats’ regular for most of the next six seasons, making the National League All-Star team in 2016.