Spring Training Preview: Outfielders

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SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – OUTFIELDERS

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, concluding today with the outfielders.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

March 5 – Starting Pitchers

March 6 – Relief Pitchers

March 7 – Catchers

March 8 – Infielders

March 9 – Outfielders

MATT den DEKKER

2015 Season Totals: .253/.315/.485, 117 wRC+, 8.2% BB rate, 18.2% K rate, 0.4 fWAR

Acquired late last spring from the New York Mets’ organization, den Dekker split time between Triple-A Syracuse and Washington during the first four months of the 2015 season. The left-handed hitting outfielder turned it on late in the year, slashing .302/.368/.616 in 86 August at-bats for the Chiefs and then exceeded those numbers by hitting .320/.370/.620 in 50 at-bats with the Nationals. The 28-year-old has power and can play all three outfield positions.

BRIAN GOODWIN

2015 Season Totals: N/A

Goodwin, a fleet-footed defender, has the ability to play center field, swipe bases and hit for power from the left side of the plate. He recorded a career-high 46 RBI in 114 games for Double-A Harrisburg after returning from a left shoulder injury that plagued him during the 2014 season. Following the season, he excelled in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .316 (42-for-133) with eight doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI, 19 walks, five stolen bases and 21 runs scored in 35 games for Bravos de Margarita.

BRYCE HARPER

2015 Season Totals: .330/.460/.649, 197 wRC+, 19.0% BB rate, 20.0% K rate, 9.5 fWAR

Few players in baseball history have matched Harper’s achievements at such a young age. With a dominant display of plate discipline and power in 2015, Harper hit an incredible .330/.460/.649, led the National League in home runs (42), runs scored (118) and OPS (1.109) and also tallied 124 walks. His historic age-22 campaign earned him National League MVP honors, as he garnered all 30 first-place votes to become the youngest player ever to win the award unanimously.

BEN REVERE

2015 Season Totals: .306/.342/.377, 98 wRC+, 5.0% BB rate, 10.1% K rate, 1.9 fWAR

Revere, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in January, brings contact and speed to the top of the Nationals’ batting order. The 5-foot-9 left-handed hitter stole 49 bases and tied Denard Span with an NL-leading 184 hits in 2014, and then matched that season’s .306 batting average with another .306 campaign in 2015. Revere is of the game’s toughest men to strike out, fanning in less than 10 percent of his plate appearances with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Toronto.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

MICHAEL A. TAYLOR

2015 Season Totals: .229/.282/.358, 69 wRC+, 6.8% BB rate, 30.9% K rate, 1.0 fWAR

Pressed into action in 2015 following offseason surgeries performed on Jayson Werth and Denard Span, Taylor held his own in his first full big league season with the Nationals. The 24-year-old blasted 14 home runs, drove in 63 runs, stole 16 bases and finished ninth among all qualified Major League outfielders with a 12.4 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). Despite hitting just .229 on the season, Taylor came up big in the clutch, hitting .317/.397/.500 with runners in scoring position.

JAYSON WERTH

2015 Season Totals: .221/.302/.384, 87 wRC+, 10.1% BB rate, 22.2% K rate, -0.3 fWAR

Werth was just beginning to heat up at the plate before a pitch injured his left wrist on May 15, costing him 60 games during the middle of the year. The 36-year-old slugger recovered in time to put together a solid month from August 18–September 18, batting .303/.397/.598 with 10 doubles, eight homers, 20 RBI and 25 runs scored in 30 games over that span. Werth looks to return to his 2013-14 form, when he compiled a 144 OPS+ and registered 9.7 WAR according to FanGraphs.com.

 

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

TONY CAMPANA…Speedy lefty owns an 88 percent stolen base success rate in four MLB seasons.

CHRIS HEISEY…Former Reds outfielder is reunited with Nationals Manager Dusty Baker in Viera.

REED JOHNSON…Back in 2016, Johnson played in 17 games for the Nationals a season ago.

LOGAN SCHAFER…Former Milwaukee product played 49 games in center field for the Brewers in 2015.

 

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