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Position analysis: Outfield

Oct 16, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper enjoyed one of the best big-league seasons ever by a teenager.

As we transition into offseason mode, we'll start by breaking down the Nationals' roster by position (infield, outfield, catcher, rotation and bullpen) this week and examine where things stand at season's end and where things might stand moving forward. Today's position: Outfield…

Stats: 81 G, 344 PA, 5 HR, 31 RBI, .300 AVG, .387 OBP, .440 SLG
1 E, -12.6 UZR, 1.0 WAR
2012 salary: $13 million
Contract status: $16 million in 2013, $20 million in 2014, $21 million in 2015, $21 million in 2016, $21 million in 2017, free agent in 2018
Where he fits in: After a frustrating debut season and after missing three months this season with a broken wrist, Werth finally got to enjoy playing in D.C. (and D.C. finally got to enjoy watching Werth play). The biggest key to his success: Embracing the leadoff role and becoming a potent force atop the lineup. The question now is whether he'll be back in that role next year or whether the Nationals want to add a more traditional No. 1 hitter. Given his skill-set and the makeup of the rest of the projected lineup, it probably makes sense for Werth to stay right where he is in 2013.

Stats: 139 G, 597 PA, 22 HR, 59 RBI, .270 AVG, .340 OBP, .477 SLG
7 E, 9.9 UZR, 4.9 WAR
2012 salary: $1.75 million

211 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    As to people that want to move Harper, I can only ask, "Why?" It would be a waste to move that speed, arm,and developing talent at the position to RF, or the gods forbid LF, especially taking in to consideration Bryce has made it clear that he feels much more comfortable in center.

  2. baseballswami - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    So the rotation next year – Stras/Gio/JZim/Det and the mystery date? I am so hoping that Det comes out of the chute looking like he did last Thursday. When he has his head on straight and is on his game he is ridiculous. I think I am only now appreciating what he did to the Cards hitters.I think he will be better off if he knows going in that he is a starter and it's his gig. He should be bringing in some confidence from this season. Sure, he had some head slap moments – but who didn't? Lohse is one of those guys that on paper might not look all that great but he gets the job done. He is effective. I think EJax moves on to his next team in the pitching carousel. Oooops. I forgot we were supposed to talk about outfielders today. It's been up since 7 am and I felt like everything has been said. Pitchers and catchers tomorrow? So I am early?

  3. feelanau - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    But if Morse goes, does "Take On Me" go with him?

  4. NatsNut - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Now THAT would break my heart. What I love about the crowd singing it is that nobody orchestrated it; it was completely organic. On the other hand, there's a bit of an association of Game 5 with the song now too. =/feelanau said…But if Morse goes, does "Take On Me" go with him?

  5. peric - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    I am against making a blockbuster trade regarding our outfield unless we get a very good starting pitcher out of the deal. Just like before it'll be for a starting pitcher … likely a left-handed one. If they need OF they can trade some of what they have (to get the left-handed starter) and sign one of the more attractive free agents.The Nats are pretty well set except for pitching where, in the NL East, that improvement has the most value bar none.

  6. peric - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    As to people that want to move Harper, I can only ask, "Why?"Only if he "grows" Seamhead. Remember, he has just today turned 20, he could still grow to be as tall as his 6'6" brother. In other words he could end up looking more like Michael Morse as he ages … not the body type of your typical CF.

  7. feelanau - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    I admit that mid-season I Googled the lyrics so that my "organic" singing would be correct, if not lyrical. Alas, I too was at Game 5 and the "Aha Moment" was awesome — until it wasn't.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    peric, you made me smile thinking of a 6'6" Bam Bam! hHonestly, though, if he keeps his speed and athleticism, I'd have no problem with him in CF if he grows to 7 feet. I didn't see Morse play as a SS when he came up, but somehow I seriously doubt that he ever was in Harper's dexterity class.

  9. peric - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    see Morse play as a SS when he came up, but somehow I seriously doubt that he ever was in Harper's dexterity class. He weight at least 20 pounds less than he does now but the height made playing shortstop problematic … its better to be closer to the ground playing MI and third base … CF is more about covering ground … the suspicion by the FO is that if Harper grows he will get more than a bit slower … not slow enough to preclude the outfield just CF.

  10. Feel Wood - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    feelanau said… But if Morse goes, does "Take On Me" go with him?They need to divorce Morse from that song anyway. The Michael Morse Karaoke At Bat is always his worst AB of the game. He's often out even before the singing is done.Make Take On Me the seventh inning stretch song, like Sweet Caroline in Boston or Thank God I'm a Country Boy in Baltimore. Then in 20 years people can hear it and wonder why.

  11. D'Gourds - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    Stay pat in the OF. Stay pat in the IF. Stay pat in the bullpen. Sign R.A. Dickey to a three year contract! Can you imagine a Strass, Z-mann, Gio, Dickey and Det rotation? OMG would that be great?




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