Nationals

Quick Links

Nationals roster review: Wilson Ramos

wilsonramos101915.png

Nationals roster review: Wilson Ramos

Age on Opening Day 2016: 28

How acquired: Trade from Twins for RHP Matt Capps, July 2010

MLB service time: 5 years, 47 days

2015 salary+bonuses: $3.55 million

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2017

2015 stats: 128 G, 504 PA, 41 R, 109 H, 16 2B, 0 3B, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 0 SB, 21 BB, 101 SO, .229 AVG, .258 OBP, .358 SLG, .616 OPS, 6 E, 44% CS rate, 0.8 WAR

Quotable: "I've been working really, really hard to be healthy to be behind the plate for a lot of games. And this year I did it well. It makes me feel good, because I'm doing what I was working for. It feels really good." — Wilson Ramos

2015 analysis: Wilson Ramos' goal entering 2015 was simple: Avoid significant injury for the first time in his major-league career and catch at least 120 games. He was successful in that regard, never landing on the DL and getting behind the plate 125 times (seventh-most in baseball).

It's not just that Ramos was behind the plate, though. He was effective back there, as well. His 3.43 catcher's ERA ranked fourth in the majors. His 44.4 percent caught-stealing rate tied Russell Martin for the majors' best. And, of course, he played his role in both of Max Scherzer's no-hitters, the third he caught in his team's last 162 games.

At the plate, though, Ramos was inconsistent. He went through a few hot stretches, delivered several of the season's biggest hits (including his Labor Day grand slam against the Mets) and produced 68 RBI as a catcher (most in the NL). But his batting average, on-base percentage and OPS as a catcher all ranked last in the NL.

2016 outlook: Ramos has proven he can make it through an entire season intact, but here's the question: Is he actually better off playing a little bit less? Ramos' offensive production dropped this year. He showed at times in the past he was more productive when not catching every day; perhaps he might recapture some of that if catching, say, four times a week instead of five.

Ramos' defensive reputation sometimes gets knocked because of his struggles receiving throws from outfielders and relay men on plays at the plate. To be sure, that has always been a problem area for him. But he has established himself as a very good game-caller and thrower, and that certainly counts for something.

The Nationals do face something of a decision this winter, though: Ramos is entering his walk year. Do they believe he is worth locking up to an extension? Do they figure they'll let him leave as a free agent next offseason? Or would they consider exploring offers for him right now and seeing what they could get in return for a catcher who might not be part of the organization beyond 2016 anyway?

Quick Links

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

usatsi_10847206.jpg
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.

Quick Links

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

screen_shot_2018-05-21_at_7.52.30_pm.png
@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.