Until this September, Justin Maxwell hadn't shown that he could hit major league pitching. In his first stint of 2009, he batted just .125 in limited action. Many thought, justifiably, that Maxwell wasn't cut out to be a major-league ballplayer. Then something happened. He figured "it" out. He was recalled on Sept. 1 Over the one month-plus since that date, he has hit .311 over 26 games. He has also hit 4 HR and provided a spark to the offense in their current winning streak, along with Ian Desmond. Has Maxwell earned a roster spot for next season? He'll be 26 years old by next spring. If he can help to solidify the OF and provided good numbers on offense, he could help the Nats have more winning streaks in 2010.
Maxwell could split time in RF with Dukes. He could also give Nyjer Morgan and Josh Willingham a few days off over the course of the long season, giving him up to 10 starts in CF and 10 in LF to go with a possible platoon situation in RF. When Morgan went down with the hand injury, the Nats' offense went in the tank. But in recent weeks, Justin Maxwell and Ian Desmond have taken over Morgan's role of charging up the offense. If these two guys can play like this, and Morgan makes a full recovery, the offense could be much better next year. Not that it was that bad this season but the team was inconsistent until Morgan came along. Dunn, Zimmerman and Willingham will provide plenty of power but the Nats also need hitters like Morgan, Desmond and Maxwell to keep things flowing.