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2016 New Year's resolutions for the Washington Nationals

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2016 New Year's resolutions for the Washington Nationals

Happy New Year, everybody. Here is a look at how each Nationals player can improve in 2016. Some are more serious than others…

BRYCE HARPER: What do you tell a guy who just had one of the best seasons ever? Just, uh like, keep doing that stuff.

STEPHEN STRASBURG: As Stephen said himself at Nationals WinterFest, he needs to be more careful in the weight room. His sprained ankle in spring training began a chain of injuries that affected him for most of 2015.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: 2015 was another year defined by not one injury, but several. Maybe it's time to sacrifice a rubber chicken to reverse Zim's luck.

JAYSON WERTH: This has been thrown out there before, but Werth might be smart to learn how to play first base. It could prolong his career, as he still provides good value at the plate.

ANTHONY RENDON: Health, as always, is the key. The Nats' lineup is much better with Anthony Rendon playing well, just look at 2014.

WILSON RAMOS: Ramos mentioned throughout 2015 he was trying to get back to his 2011 swing, the year he had his best season. Perhaps a full offseason with that in mind will help. 

DANNY ESPINOSA: Espinosa hit right-handed only through 2015 spring training and then went back to switch-hitting in April. It was super unorthodox, but it worked. Maybe try that again?

MAX SCHERZER: Scherzer is working on cutting down the home runs he allowed in 2015. The longball is a big reason why he had such a rough time in August.

AARON BARRETT: Barrett has had a rough few months with two surgeries, including Tommy John on his right elbow. He has remained positive throughout the rehab process and that mindset will be key for a long recovery.

TANNER ROARK: This is out of his control, but a more permanent role for Roark would be best for his career. He bounced around too much in 2015. Good thing for him, though, is that it sounds like Mike Maddux really likes him.

TREA TURNER: Turner's speed is no joke and it fits in well with Dusty Baker's plan. All he needs to do is get on base and he will be a very good MLB player.

MICHAEL TAYLOR: Like many young players, Taylor needs to cut down on strikeouts. If he can get his OBP up, he will be a star. He knows this, too.

JONATHAN PAPELBON: When you have problems with a teammates, do as the old adage says: use your words.

CLINT ROBINSON: Robinson still fills an important role for the Nats, but they continue to deepen their bench. Maybe reminding Baker he had his hitting book when he was a kid will help Clint get on his good side.

MIKE RIZZO: Learning from mistakes he has made with the bullpen and with clubhouse chemistry would help him go from being a good GM to a great one.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.