Jun 1, 2011, 3:52 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Danny Espinosa belted a pair of homers off Cliff Lee in the Nats’ 10-2 victory.
Jim Riggleman was talking up Danny Espinosa on Monday, after the rookie second baseman had homered off Roy Halladay to join teammate Jayson Werth as the Nationals’ top power hitters so far this season.
“As good as he’s playing,” Riggleman said, “we certainly haven’t seen the best of him yet.”
No, Espinosa saved that for Tuesday night, when he homered twice off Cliff Lee and drove in four runs to pace the Nationals during a 10-2 thumping of the Phillies and establish himself as the most productive rookie in the National League.
Check out the NL leaderboard for rookies. Espinosa’s name is all over the place. He’s now blasted 10 homers, twice as many as any other NL rookie. He’s got 33 RBI, more than any rookie in the majors. He’s racked up 83 total bases, again topping the list.
And the Nationals are only one-third of the way through their season, having played Game No. 54 on Tuesday. Take those numbers and multiply them by three. That’s what Espinosa is on pace to do as a 24-year-old rookie.
“He’s a good player,” right fielder Jayson Werth said. “Definitely underrated, kind of under the radar.”
Espinosa won’t be under the radar for long if he keeps this up. He may
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