Three Bold Predictions For Rest Of The Nationals’ Season

mdholleran
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Victor Robles #16 and Michael A. Taylor #3 after the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on June 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Victor Robles #16 and Michael A. Taylor #3 after the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on June 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

1. Howie Kendrick is an All-Star and is not traded.

If someone told you 69 games into the 2019 Washington Nationals’ season Howie Kendrick would be the team’s best offensive player you would have thought they were crazy. As we stand here on June 15 you could make that claim and have a very solid case. Kendrick has had a career year to date and is hitting for a line of .333/.383./602 with 12 home runs, 43 runs batted in coming into Monday.

After tearing his Achilles in 2018, some questioned if Kendrick would ever play in the Major Leagues again. At 35-years-old coming into the 2019 season expectations were not high for the veteran utility man. Kendrick was expected at best to be a solid backup, but not play a huge part in the Nationals’ offensive attack.

To this point of the season, that narrative could not be further from the truth, and without Kendrick, Washington could very easily be sitting in the basement of the National League East. Currently, Kendrick does not have enough at-bats to qualify among the league leaders in many categories, but his .333 batting average would be seventh best in the all of baseball, to go with his .602% slugging percentage which would be in the top ten in the league.

Kendrick has never driven in more than 55 runs since 2014, but he is on pace to break that mark by a wide margin. By the time we reach the All-Star break Kendrick will almost certainly have at least 50 runs batted in and likely around 15-17 home runs. Pair this with his outstanding slugging percentage and .986 OPS, he should be heading to Cleveland to make his second All-Star appearance of his career.

If the Nationals want to climb back into the playoff race, holding onto Kendrick is imperative. With their weak schedule after this current homestand, looking for Washington to hold onto Kendrick as they attempt to make a push back into the playoff picture.

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