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2017 Nationals Spring Training Dates: Schedule, Opponents, location

2017 Nationals Spring Training Dates: Schedule, Opponents, location

Looking to pick up where they left last season, the Washington Nationals will begin their quest toward the 2017 World Series when 2017 Spring Training begins in February.

Coming off their 2016 NL East championship with NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, the Nationals first step will be the Grapefruit League and spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

It will be the Nationals their first chance to work newly aquired veteran catcher, Derek Norris with their pitching staff after longtime starter Wilson Ramos left to join the Blue Jays.

The teams has also yet to aquire another closer this off-season, leaving Mark Melancon as the team's top option in 2017.

In the Grapefruit League, Washington will play fellow division rivals the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins. Also in the league are the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Last season the Nationals made the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the NL, before losing to the NL West champions Los Angeles Dodgers. 

RELATED: NATIONALS REGULAR SEASON OUTLOOK

Important Nationals 2017 Spring Training Dates: 

Spring Training Location: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Pitchers and Catchers Report: Feb. 14

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb. 16

Position Players Report: Feb. 17

First Full Workout: Feb. 19

Spring Training Opener: Feb. 25 @ New York Mets

Click here for Nationals' full Spring Training Schedule

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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.