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Thanks to their offseason acquisitions, the Nationals have fewer and fewer questions about their roster.
One such move was the trade with the Minnesota Twins for center fielder Denard Span. This natural center fielder can play 130 or more games per season at the position—something the Nationals have lacked in recent years.
The Nats have experimented with Bryce Harper, Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel in center field, among others. Ankiel played himself out of the lineup. And although they are both great athletes, Bryce Harper and Roger Bernadina play the corner outfield positions better.
Span, on the other hand, is a very good defensive center fielder. In 448 career games in center field, he has a fielding percentage of .991 in 1165 chances with 14 assists.
Plus, Span is good leadoff hitter—something Harper, Bernadina, Ankiel and several other hitters were not consistently for the Nationals.
In his five-year career, Span has a .357 OBP with a 162-game average of 70 walks and 88 strikeouts. He also has a career batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .320.
Spring training will be the first chance for Nationals fans to see the new cornerstone of a very good defensive outfield.