Nov 13, 2012, 6:14 PM EST
|Photo by US-Presswire|
On Monday night Bryce Harper became the first Nationals player since the team moved to Washington to win the N.L. Rookie of the Year award. He was, however, not the first player in club history to have a good rookie year. The Nationals have built a winning team on young talent and have seen several players have success right from the start.
Here are the best rookie seasons since the Nationals moved to Washington in 2005:
1. Ryan Zimmerman – 2006
157 G – .287/.351/.471 – 20 HR – 110 RBI – 84 R – 47 2B
Zimmerman finished second to Hanley Ramirez in N.L. Rookie of the Year voting in 2006, but with the numbers he posted could have won it almost any other year. After being picked fourth overall in the 2005 draft, Zimmerman needed less than a calendar year to establish himself as a franchise cornerstone. He is still a major part of the Nationals’ operation and signed his second contract extension with the team in 2012.
2. Bryce Harper – 2012
139 G – .270/.340/.477 – 22 HR – 59 RBI – 98 R – 18 SB
Harper became the first Nationals player to win the N.L. Rookie of the Year award on Monday after a tremendous first season. The number one overall pick in 2010 was called up on April 28 and provided a quick spark to a Washington team dealing with major injuries at the time. He and the Nationals won 98 games and their first N.L. East division title. To think he did all of it at just 19 years old suggests he could some day, perhaps very soon, be an MVP candidate.
3. Stephen Strasburg – 2010
12 G – 5-3 – 2.91 ERA – 1.074 WHIP – 92 SO – 68.0 IP
Taken with the number one overall pick in 2009, Strasburg was an instant sensation. He struck out 14 batters in his major league debut and showed immediately he was one of the best young pitchers in baseball. His rookie year was cut short by a torn ligament in his elbow that required Tommy John surgery, but it was a season baseball fans will remember for a long time.
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