Spring Training Preview: Infielders
SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – INFIELDERS
This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ball club. Over the course of this week, we are introducing these players in their position groups, continuing today with the infielders.
March 5 – Starting Pitchers
March 6 – Relief Pitchers
March 7 – Catchers
March 8 – Infielders
March 9 – Outfielders
2015 Season Totals: N/A
A speedy, versatile defender, Bostick was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2015 season. After being acquired from the Texas Rangers along with right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos on December 11, 2014, Bostick led Nationals Minor Leaguers with a career-high 31 stolen bases while hitting .258 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs, 58 RBI, 31 walks and 57 runs scored between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
2015 Season Totals: .182/.182/.182, -9 wRC+, 0.0% BB rate, 18.2% K rate, -0.1 fWAR
Difo, a switch-hitting middle infielder with speed, enters 2016 rated as the No. 6 prospect in Washington’s system, per Baseball America. He was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg on May 19, making his MLB debut and notching his first MLB hit that night vs. the New York Yankees. Difo hit .286 with 39 extra-base hits, 30 stolen bases and 61 runs scored in 106 games between Single-A Potomac and Harrisburg.
2015 Season Totals: .201/.271/.381, 76 wRC+, 8.6% BB rate, 16.6% K rate, 0.2 fWAR
A veteran left-handed bat with the ability to play shortstop, second base and third base, Drew signed a one-year deal with Washington on January 6, 2016. He clubbed 17 home runs in his first full season with the New York Yankees in 2015, tied for third among MLB second basemen. It was his largest power output since 2008, when he hit 21 home runs with Arizona. Drew appeared in 123 games (94 starts) at second base, 15 games (10 starts) at shortstop and four games (one start) at third base.
2015 Season Totals: .240/.311/.409, 94 wRC+, 8.0% BB rate, 25.7% K rate, 2.3 fWAR
One of Major League Baseball’s best and most versatile infielders, Espinosa will likely see an increased role at shortstop in 2016. A season ago, he clubbed 13 home runs, his most since 2012, and slugged .409, his highest figure since 2011. If qualified, he would have ranked first in UZR/150 (18.4) and third in defensive runs saved among MLB second basemen (10). He earned starts at second base (74), third base (9), shortstop (5), first base (5) and left field (2) during the 2015 season.
2015 Season Totals: .203/.250/.364, 61 wRC+, 5.5% BB rate, 22.5% K rate, -0.9 fWAR
A power hitter who adds defensive versatility to Washington’s roster, Moore saw action at first base (39 games/23 starts), left field (20 games/13 starts), and right field (one game) and as a pitcher (one game/0.2 IP). He posted career highs in games played (97), at bats (187) and doubles (12) in 2015 while ranking second on the club with five hits as a pinch hitter. He became the second Nationals position player to pitch in a game, and the first at Nationals Park, August 5 vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2015 Season Totals: .281/.322/.449, 110 wRC+, 5.8% BB rate, 7.1% K rate, 2.5 fWAR
A 2015 postseason hero with the New York Mets, Murphy signed a three-year deal with the Nationals on January 6, 2016. He garnered NLCS MVP honors after clubbing four home runs during New York’s four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, also becoming the first player in MLB history to hit a home run in six consecutive postseason games. He hit a career-high 14 home runs in 2015, adding 38 doubles and 73 RBI. He proved to be the toughest batter to strike out in MLB, fanning once every 14.2 plate appearances.
2015 Season Totals: .264/.344/.363, 97 wRC+, 10.1% BB rate, 19.7% K rate, 0.9 fWAR
A versatile infielder and one of the top young hitters in Major League Baseball, Rendon looks to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2015 campaign. After suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee in Spring Training, Rendon made his 2015 debut on June 14 before returning to the DL on June 25 with a left quad strain. His best stretch of the season came from August 22–September 17, when he hit .356 (37-for-104) with four doubles, four home runs, 16 runs batted in, 12 walks and 25 runs scored.
2015 Season Totals: .272/.358/.424, 115 wRC+, 10.5% BB rate, 14.8% K rate, 0.4 fWAR
Robinson joined the Nationals on a Minor League deal with an invite to 2015 Spring Training, and would end up making his first Opening Day roster. In his first full MLB season, Robinson ranked among NL rookies in on-base percentage (3rd, .358), walks (3rd, 37) and slugging percentage (10th, .424). Robinson finished strong, hitting .284 with three homers, nine RBI and 10 walks in 27 September games. On May 12 at Arizona (1.0 IP, H, SO), Robinson became the first-ever Nationals position player to pitch in a game.
2015 Season Totals: .225/.295/.325, 72 wRC+, 9.1% BB rate, 27.3% K rate, 0.1 fWAR
The No. 2 prospect in Washington’s system per Baseball America, Turner was acquired from the San Diego Padres on June 14 to complete an offseason trade between the teams. He had his contract selected from Triple-A Syracuse on August 21 and made his Major League debut that night vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, entering the game as a defensive replacement. In 116 Minor League games in 2015, Turner hit .322 with 24 doubles, seven triples, eight homers, 54 RBI, 29 stolen bases and 68 runs scored.
2015 Season Totals: .249/.308/.465, 107 wRC+, 8.5% BB rate, 20.3% K rate, 0.6 fWAR
A former Gold Glove third baseman, Zimmerman made the transition across the diamond to first base in an injury-shortened 2015 campaign. He hit .249 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs, 73 RBI, 33 walks and 43 runs scored in 95 games, including .311/.372/.652 after returning from plantar fasciitis in his left foot on July 28. He clubbed his 200th career home run during an 11-game span from August 23–September 2, in which he collected 23 RBI — the most over 11 games in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).
JASON MARTINSON…2010 fifth-round pick enters his first training camp on the Major League side.
BRENDAN RYAN…Defensive wizard and veteran of nine big league seasons competing for a utility role.
SCOTT SIZEMORE…Virginia Beach native and VCU alum got off to a fast start in Grapefruit League play.
MATT SKOLE…Nationals 2012 Minor League Player of the Year hit 20 homers in the Minors in 2015.
- Posted on March 8, 2016 at 10:00 am
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- Author - Mike Feigen
- Tags: Anthony Rendon, Brendan Ryan, Chris Bostick, Clint Robinson, Daniel Murphy, Danny Espinosa, Jason Martinson, Matt Skole, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Sizemore, Spring Training, Stephen Drew, Trea Turner, Tyler Moore, Wilmer Difo