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The third spot in the order should be occupied by the lineup's best hitter for average.
Who better to fill that role for the 2014 Washington Nationals than the man who finished the 2013 season ranked fifth in the National League in batting average, according to MLB.com?
None other than Jayson Werth.
In fact, Werth's .318 average was 38 points higher than Ian Desmond, the second-best qualified starter on the Nationals in terms of batting average, according to MLB.com.
On Aug. 21, Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post offered an explanation for Werth's newfound dominance at the dish:
Starting last August, he used a lighter bat, hit to all fields more, cut his strikeouts by a third and even batted leadoff to help win the NL East last year...As his wrist has strengthened this year, he has been able to crouch less, stand more erect in the box and blend his new approach with much of his old power. His height (6'5") and chopping axe-like stroke helps keep his bat “on plane” through the strike zone. That helps foul off tough pitches, allows him to wear out pitchers (4.26 pitches per plate appearance, one of the highest in baseball) and get cheap hits when fooled.
With his new approach, expect Werth to repeat his batting average in 2014.