Nationals: 7 role players to be thankful for since 2005

Dmitri Young #21 of the Washington Nationals celebrates a double during their MLB game against the Houston Astros on July 17, 2007 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. The Astros won 4-2. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Dmitri Young #21 of the Washington Nationals celebrates a double during their MLB game against the Houston Astros on July 17, 2007 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. The Astros won 4-2. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals brought in Dmitri Young to replace an injured Nick Johnson.
Dmitri Young #21 of the Washington Nationals warms up before the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 30, 2007 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. The Dodgers won 4-0. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Dmitri Young

He played thirteen years in the majors, though only two with the Washington Nationals. He was an All-Star his first year in DC and was forced out early in his second season because of his battle with diabetes. Dmitri Young may have made a name for himself playing for Cincinnati and Detroit, but he endured himself to Nats fans in the short time he was in Washington.

In the two years prior to signing with the Nationals, Young was slotted as the designated hitter more than he played the field. At nearly 300 pounds he seemed like an odd replacement for an injured Nick Johnson at first base, in a league which didn’t feature the DH.

All he did that first year is hit though. He finished 2007 with 147 hits and although he had 38 doubles, my memory says all those hits were singles. Seemed like every time Dmitri came to the plate, you knew he was going to rap out a base hit.

Dmitri Young was slow, clogged up the bases, and made more errors than a first baseman should, but he was fun to watch. He was a grown man (in all meanings of the word) who was comfortable with his abilities. He may have been on the tail end of his career, but that first year with the Nationals, you wouldn’t have known it.

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