Nats Bats and Positional Depth

The Nationals' lineup is largely set for 2013, but as a recent article here on FBB brought up there is no certainty that everybody on the roster will be with the team come spring if any off-season moves are made that include major-league ready position players. To help further discussion, here is a quick look at the bats the Nats currently have available at every position. All the numbers look at a 3 year period (2011 through 2013) average, though many players have less than three years' major league experience.

I have listed only one offensive stat - wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus), which is a league and park neutralized all inclusive offensive stat. League average is 100, but that does not mean that replacement level players usually achieve that number. 120 wRC+ means a player created about 20% more runs than league average.

Position wRC+ PA (2011-2013) Can Also Play
Wilson Ramos 111 834
Jhonatan Solano 59 87
Sandy Leon 103 37
1st Base
Adam LaRoche 108 1414 P
Tyler Moore 95 349 LF
Chris Marrero 42 133
2nd Base
Anthony Rendon 100 394 3rd
Danny Espinosa 90 1483 SS
Steve Lombardozzi 74 755 3rd, LF
Ian Desmond 107 1841
Zach Walters 195 9 3rd
3rd Base
Ryan Zimmerman 122 1714
Right Field
Jayson Werth 127 1525 LF
Center Field
Denard Span 99 1541
Corey Brown 77 45 LF, RF
Eury Perez -26 13 LF, RF
Left Field
Bryce Harper 128 1094 RF, CF
Scott Hairston 105 690 RF

1st Base is an area of weakness for the Nats right now. Over the past three years, there are 28 1st basemen (min 750 PA) who had better bats than LaRoche. (For those thinking Zim-to-1st, there were 36 3rd basemen better than Rendon, so stop thinking that.)

Don't count out Danny Espinosa. Yes, he stunk last year, but if whatever was holding him back is fixed by spring he has a track record of being more valuable than Rendon was this year. If he can get back on track with his bat, he can be tremendously valuable at 2nd and as a backup at SS. Without a big bat at 1st, every other position really needs to step and contribute as much as possible.

Cathing depth is a big question mark due to SSS (small sample size). Someone is going to be playing a decent amount of games behind Ramos, and there is no telling how their bats will end up playing.

Span plays great defense, but most teams get more offense form CF than the Nats do. Don't expect a lot more out of his bat, but hope for some improvement because it would really help.

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