There's one reason that Laynce Nix is flying under the radar. Nobody knows who Laynce Nix is.
Laynce and his brother, Jayson, have both been bench players for the most part, but Laynce has finally started to blossom and is forcing his way into the lineup for the Nationals on a more consistent basis.
The Nationals started 2011 with a pretty good outfield on paper. Jayson Werth signed a big deal to play right and Rick Ankiel was signed to bring his power and defense to center. Michael Morse mashed the ball all spring, so left field was his, but the regular season was a challenge for him and Nix crept into the mix.
Nix is still not getting all of the playing time in left because he doesn't hit lefties well, but he has taken most of the starts against right handed pitching and has thrived. Nix is hitting .303 in 45 games, but more surprisingly, Nix has hit nine home runs and has an OPS of .921. The bench player has turned into a big bruiser for the young Nationals club.
Nix really cemented his status as an underground hero by winning the game against the Phillies on his own on Wednesday. After hitting a go-ahead home run off Roy Oswalt, Nix made a full extension dive to rob Domonic Brown of what would have been a two run single to take back the lead. The team held on to win the game thanks to Nix's heroics.
With Adam LaRoche sidelined, Michael Morse will take over first and that leaves a majority of the playing time in left to Laynce Nix. If he keeps getting pitches, people will know his name soon.