Lane Thomas, 27, has appeared in the outfield in all but 16 games in his first full season with the Nationals, including Tuesday night’s 8-2 loss to the Braves at Nationals Park. He platooned left and centered field in the early months with Juan Soto in right field before being traded to the Padres on Aug. 2. Since the Soto trade, Thomas has been playing all over the outfield.
Thomas has made 45 starts in left field, 47 in the center, and 25 in right field in 2022, compared to 39 in center, field three in left, and none in right last year with the Nationals following his Trade Deadline acquisition. He has recently shown his defensive versatility by improving in the opposite corner in right field.
On the offensive side of the ball, Thomas has been extremely impressive. As the 2022 season ends, Thomas is hitting .248 with 17 home runs, 52 RBI, an slugging percentage of .418. Entering last night’s game, Thomas has hit safely in 16 of his last 20 games, going .301/.366/.494 with ﬁve doubles, one triple, three homers, 10 RBI, eight walks, three stolen bases, and 11 runs scored. Last night, Thomas continued his hitting streak with a hit in the bottom of the first against Atlanta starter RHP Collin McHugh.
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Thomas has become a strong player in the outfield and seems to be catching the eyes of his manager: Dave Martinez: “I want him to take more chances. I want him to understand the game situations. … But he definitely has gotten a lot better. I love the way he’s coming to get the ball on the ground. His throws have been unbelievable, and he’s making great, accurate throws. He definitely has improved. So moving forward, this guy’s going to help us in the future.”