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Jayson Werth gets the Nationals offense going.
Coupled with Bryce Harper at the top of the lineup for almost every game since August 17, Werth has become even more valuable to the Nats as a leadoff hitter. His ability to start the offense on the right foot will be crucial to solving the stellar starting pitching they will face in the playoffs.
The Nats can apply pressure from the start, and that begins with Werth's ability to put the ball in play as well as get on base. Through Sunday, he has a strikeout percentage (SO%) of only 16.7%, a batting average on balls in play (BAbip) of .353 and a .387 OBP.
Once on base, he is a smart, aggressive baserunner. Jayson has a mere eight stolen bases but has only been caught stealing twice. Plus, he has 10 bases taken on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, balks and defensive indifference, and he takes an extra base on a single or double 38 percent of the time.
But what makes Jayson Werth the most important Nationals' player come playoff time is his playoff experience. He has played 44 postseason games and is the only Nationals starting position player to play in the World Series, let alone win one. In his postseason career, Jayson has hit .268 with 13 home runs, 26 RBI and a .379 OBP. During his two postseasons that resulted in a trip to the World Series, Werth hit .292 with nine home runs, 17 RBI and a .395 OBP.
Jayson Werth needs to show the Washington Nationals how to win in the postseason from his first swing of the bat.