Nationals: The Perfect 2021 Lineup

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: The Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in Game Seven to win the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros with a score of 6 to 2. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: The Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in Game Seven to win the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros with a score of 6 to 2. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Marcell Ozuna
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 17: Marcell Ozuna #20 of the Atlanta Braves reacts against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 17, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Batting Fourth: DH, Marcell Ozuna

Washington needs to add protection for Soto. Everyone knows this. Cash strapped, this issue has become hard to handle. However, after the Josh Bell trade, Washington has some room to splurge on another bat. Marcell Ozuna. The 30-year-old just posted a career year with the Atlanta Braves, hitting .338, with an NL high 18 homers, 56 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.067.

In Atlanta, Ozuna added protection for Freddie Freeman, and that’s what he would do in D.C. for Juan Soto. As I stated earlier, one of Washington’s biggest issue in 2020 was production in the lineup after Turner and Soto came up.

Ozuna gets the nod over J.T. Realmuto, DJ LeMahieu, George Springer, and Michael Brantley due to his age, production, and projected contract. A defensive liability, Ozuna would become the Nationals primary DH, a role that suits him perfectly.

Batting Fifth: 1B, Josh Bell

At first, this spot was going to include a platoon of Adam Duvall and Mitch Moreland, which would have provided a mix of offense and defense. But then Mike Rizzo made a splash by trading for the Pittsburgh Pirates star, Josh Bell. Bell had a down year in 2020 which saw him hit .226, with eight homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .669. However, in 2019 he named to his first All-Star team and finished the season hitting .277, with 37 homers, 116 RBIs, and an OPS of .936.

Bell is not known for his defense, seen by his career -32 DRS and -19.9 UZR at first. Except, Washington didn’t acquire him for his defense. They are hoping he can bounce back and provide the power bat Washington has been missing.

Batting Sixth: LF, Eddie Rosario

Washington will have a new face in the outfield for 2021 after Adam Eaton left in free agency. Eaton was with the team since 2017, but the team declined his option. At the end of the 2020 season, Soto was shifted from left to right where he will play from here on. With a hole to fill in left, Washington should sign Eddie Rosario.

Rosario broke out with the Twins in 2017, hitting .290, with 27 homers, 78 RBIs, and an OPS of .836. He peaked with 32 homers in 2019 and was a vital part of the Twins offense. This off-season, he was somewhat of a surprise non-tender, making him a free agent for the first time in his career. Part of the reason he was non-tendered was due to the origination’s He hit .257, with 13 homers, 42 RBIs, and an OPS of .792. The slugger will add some missing production to the middle of the lineup and will be able to compliment Ozuna.

Defensively, Rosario is inconsistent, which tends to be a problem. Through his six years in the majors, Rosario has 53 outfield assists, four DRS, and a UZR of 8.1, Rosario can play all three outfield positions, but has spent most of his career in left. In left field, Rosario has 42 outfield assists, nine DRS, and an 11.8 UZR.

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