Countdown to Opening Day: 10 till ’10
There are eight weeks (nine Mondays) until Opening Day on April 5 at Nationals Park. We are counting down the final few weeks of the offseason highlighting 10 memorable moments, jaw-dropping catches and walk-off wins. You have seen them before but you’ll want to see them again.
Last week we highlighted Ryan Zimmerman’s 30 game hit-streak. This week we acknowledge a person’s ability to defy gravity and fly in center field.
Click here to view it on NatsHD or here…
20090523 Maxwell catch_hi.mpg … to view Justin Maxwell run like Usain Bolt and jump like Jordan to rob a home run from Adam Jones on May 23 against the Orioles. Maxwell is extremely athletic–he runs like a gazelle with long strides and has a spring in every step. He is an above-average fielder and plus-runner (41 stolen bases between Triple-A Syracuse and the Nationals last season) but he now has to prove he can make consistent contact during a full season like he did last September.
Nats Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein got the idea to lower his hands to chest level after watching video of other long-levered sluggers like Dave Winfield. The minor change made a major impact and helped his numbers sore in September. He played in 23 games and batted .306 (15-for-49) with three home runs and six RBI. This isn’t the only memorable moment Maxwell provided NatsTown in 2009.
Keep in mind Spring Training is just around the corner. The Nats report/workout dates are as follows: pitchers/catchers report on Feb. 19–that’s next Friday– position players report on Feb. 24 and the first full-squad workout is on Feb. 26.