Predicting What Washington Nationals' Starting Lineup Will Look Like Next Year
The Washington Nationals cannot end the season soon enough and move on to an offseason that might hold a lot of changes.
Let's take a look at what the Nationals starting lineup might look like next season, beginning with a new look, leadoff hitter.
1. Jeff Kobernus, 2B
Leading off for the Nats next season might be the Nationals new second baseman, if they give him the chance at the big league level.
Jeff Kobernus is currently playing the outfield but probably has the best chance of making the big league squad if he goes back to his natural position of second base.
Kobernus is having a breakout year in Triple-A, hitting .323 with a .367 OBP and 39 steals in 82 games. If his numbers can translate at the big league level, the Nats might be looking at their new second baseman.
2. Jayson Werth, RF
Jayson Werth has had a productive season this year and was solid last season once he returned from his wrist surgery.
He should be a solid producer and seems to be a good bet to hit second in the lineup and get on base in front of Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.
3. Bryce Harper, LF
It certainly has not been the year that Bryce Harper would have liked to have in D.C., but, nonetheless, the sky is the limit for Harper. As long as he can stay healthy next season, Harper will have a huge opportunity to drive in runs and should still have some decent protection behind him in the lineup.
Harper needs to keep his emotions in check and focus on being the hitter that everyone knows he can be for the Nats.
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Ryan Zimmerman might be looking at a transition to first base next season due to his shoulder issues . He will also be a likely choice for the guy to protect Harper in the lineup and bat clean up.
Zimmerman has a lot of life left but hopefully can rebound after a disappointing season in 2013. Maybe a positional change will help him out and keep him feeling fresh and healthy all season long.
5. Ian Desmond, SS
Ian Desmond might be Zimmerman's biggest competition when it comes to who will hit clean up next year. Desmond is hitting his prime and has already matched his career high in doubles with 33.
He has also launched 17 home runs so far this season and is proving to be one of the best shortstops in the MLB.
6. Anthony Rendon, 3B
Anthony Rendon can return to his natural position if Zimmerman moves to first base. Rendon has proved that he can be a productive player at this level and is a huge part of this team going forward.
Rendon is a versatile player for the Nats, having shown that he is capable of playing third, second and shortstop.
7. Eury Perez, CF
Eury Perez is going to find himself back in the majors soon enough. He is hitting .302 in Triple-A this season, showing a great ability to get on base and run the base paths.
The Nationals can try to deal Denard Span and rely on some of the young talent in the minors.
8. Wilson Ramos, C
Wilson Ramos is hitting .296 this season with eight home runs. He possesses the tools to be a productive catcher for the Nats, when healthy.
Next season should be his season to shine and he should solidify the bottom of the order for the Nats.