Way gone is the “good old days” of the Nationals’ names of Scherzer, Zimmerman, Rendon, and Strasburg (Editors note: even though he is currently on the IL, Strasburg hasn’t pitched in a stretch for the Nationals in two + years), and others it’s time to see who will be the new Washington Nationals players that we will remember in the years to come.
In a recent interview on 106.7 the fan’s The Junkies, GM Mike Rizzo discussed the great performance of outfielder Lane Thomas over the past few games. Currently, Thomas has a .237 batting average with 29 RBIs, eight home runs; 46 hits. Over the past seven games, Thomas has a slugging percentage of .409 and over the last 30 games, Lane has a slugging percentage of .543. Rizzo mentioned that he considers Thomas “fits the Nationals player profile; a well-rounded player” and names his part of the core group moving forward.
It got me thinking, about who would be considered part of the new “core” Washington Nationals that are currently on the active roster. Here is who I think:
I honestly can’t see the Washington Nationals not having Keibert Ruiz behind the plate for the foreseeable future. Currently, has been excellent in throwing players out trying to steal second, a quick off move to first base, he has been great at defense and also his offense isn’t so bad either.
Luis García might be struggling recently, however, he was over performing since being called up from Triple A – Rochester. Since joining the Nationals on June 1 Garica is hitting .327/.336/.481 with eight doubles, one triple, two homers, 11 RBI, one walk, one hit by pitch and 12 runs scored. His 34 hits since June 1 rank tied for fifth in the NL while his eight doubles are tied for seventh and García is 6-for-14 (.429) with two doubles, one triple and three runs scored over his last four games.
Not a bad player to be the future SS or another position in the infield for years to come.
This year has been a breakout year for the RHP Josiah Gray. Since being traded to the Washington Nationals last year for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer, Gray has already become one the Nationals best pitchers and solidifying him as one of the important players for the Nationals moving forward. So far this season, Gray is 6-5 with an ERA of 4.22 which is one of the best ERA’s on the Nationals and also during the month of June, Gray led the National League (2nd in MLB) with a 1.13 ERA (3 ER/24.0 IP) and a .221 opponents’ slugging percentage. (min. 24.0 IP). Gray also ranked among NL pitchers in opponents’ OPS (1st, .453), opponents’ batting average (2nd, .151), hits/9.0 IP (2nd, 4.88), opponents’ on-base percentage (5th, .232) and strikeouts per 9.0 IP (8th, 10.50).
Beyond June, Gray is 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA (4 ER/29.0 IP) since May 29…He has allowed just three extra-base hits (3 HR) along the way and opposing batters are hitting .155 (16-for-103) against him. He has not allowed a hit to a right-handed batter (0-for-19) across his last two starts.
I am putting an asterisk next to Juan Soto’s name because well, who knows at this point what the future will hold for Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals.
However, if the Nationals and Soto are able to put together a long term contract, Soto will instantly become not only the Face of the Franchise but part of the core that the Nationals will develop over the years.