Reevaluating the Nationals Offense

Approaching the same issue that I covered in my last post from the opposite side, consider the Washington Nationals. Their .333 team wOBA ranks 13th in baseball. We do not have much information on their new park yet in order to adjust for it like we would like, but factoring in adjustments on all other teams bumps the Nationals up to 12th in baseball in terms of value derived from their lineup. But just as the Rangers were hurt by the American League/National League wOBA gap, so are the Nationals helped. They actually rank 4th out of 16 teams in the senior circuit in batting value according to the numbers listed here.

And once again, it is not just FanGraphs. They rank 4th in the National League, and 10th overall, at StatCorner as well. Baseball Prospectus also agrees that the Nationals are the 4th best NL hitting club, and they have them as the 8th best overall.

Nick Johnson has been healthy and producing in his usual way with 36 walks to 44 strikeouts and a .416 on base percentage. Christian Guzman continues his remarkable transformation with a .790 OPS, though his slipping strikeout to walk ratio (31-6 this season after a 57-23 last year) are cause for concern going forward. Adam Dunn is … well … Adam Dunn (at the plate, that’s a good thing). and Ryan Zimmerman, highlighted by his long hitting streak, is finally hitting like many foresaw after his debut in 2005.

It all adds up to a lineup that is one of the best in the league. Now if only they could figure out a way to get the same level of production at the plate without completely sacrificing defense in the meantime, they might be on to something for the future instead of setting up another clock in their draft room counting down until the second they get to pick Bryce Harper with the first overall selection in the 2010 draft.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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