Inspired by Ladson's "Nats' players of the decade" article, I decided to put together some numbers so that everyone could come to their own decision about how to put together this very important list.
|total fWAR||total games||games at position||position fWAR|
|Relief Pitchers||fWAR||IP||fWAR/454 IP|
Catcher - Though Ladson picked Schneider, Ramos (despite his injuries) started more games this decade and was a lot more valuable. The fact that Ramos has only once caught more than 100 games in a season is definitely something worth taking into consideration.
1st Base - For all his fragility, Nick Johnson runs away with this. No other Nats first baseman can match his offensive output, and at this position offense is king.
2nd Base - Here we have a tough call to make. Danny Espinosa played far more games at this position than anyone else and was the most valuable player for the decade, while Anthony Rendon in his short time here proved that he was easily the best second baseman but then he went on to play more games at 3rd than at 2nd. Knowing that Rendon will be a 3rd baseman as he was before and will be going forward, does he get the nod here for a mere 110 games? Personally, I lean toward Espinosa since he actually put in multiple seasons at the position even though he was never All-Star caliber. (Beliard would not have matched Espinosa's fWAR totals even if he had matched him in games played.)
Shortstop - Ian Desmond runs away with this one. The only competition can't even compete with Espinosa (Espinosa - 51 games for around 0.9 fWAR).
3rd Base - Ryan Zimmerman all the way for Face of Franchise and Player of the Decade. Anthony Rendon cannot compete. Zim is the only player to play every year of the decade, logging 1198 games along the way.
Right Field - #WerthIt
Center Field - #Spantastic
Left Field - No player managed to log more than 200 games here this decade and play really well, so Alfonso Soriano takes the prize with his single but stellar season.
Outfield - Since many of these players play multiple outfield positions, it is only fair to give everyone a second look without positional discrimination. The current Nats outfield wins here, with Werth playing the most games but Bryce Harper putting up the strongest numbers overall.
Starting Pitching - Zimmermann, Strasburg and Gio are clearly the big three any way you slice it, with Livo and Lannan filling up the rotation as the workhorses that carried the team in darker times.
Relief Pitching - Peaches rocks. Storen, Stammen and Rauch also belong on the team of the decade. I would give the last spots to Soriano and Burnett, but there is play here for anyone willing to look at small sample size options. If I was to pick a seventh reliever I'd probably go with Tom Gorzelanny.
Bench - Every team gets to bring 25 players to the field. Our Bench of the Decade gives the Nats a backup catcher in Brian Schneider for when Ramos is hurt. Anthony Rendon can ably fill in at 2nd and 3rd (with Espinosa at SS if there is a need). There are no other middle infielders worthy of being on the team. Bryce Harper and Ryan Church can each play multiple outfield positions. Adam LaRoche can spell Nick Johnson at 1st whenever he gets hurt and Adam Dunn provides a monster bat off the bench. Yes, Rendon is the only right handed bat on the bench, which is not optimal, but we have to play the chips we were dealt. If having another righty bat on the bench is important, replace one of the above with Michael Morse, who didn't quite make the cut here but has a much stronger bat than Church.
Team of the Decade
1B - Nick Johnson; 2B - Danny Espinosa; SS - Ian Desmond; 3B - Ryan Zimmerman; RF - Jayson Werth; CF - Denard Span; LF - Alfonso Soriano; C - Wilson Ramos
Rotation - Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Livan Hernandez, John Lannan
Bullpen - Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Craig Stammen, Jon Rauch, Rafael Soriano, Sean Burnett
Bench - Brian Schneider, Bryce Harper, Ryan Church, Anthony Rendon, Adam LaRoche, Adam Dunn