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Two Nationals players are being predicted as the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player

Two Nationals players are being predicted as the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player

We all know that Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is good enough to win MVP any given year, but what about another Nats position player?

After exploding onto the scene last season and finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year voting, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez is predicting that Trea Turner will win the NL MVP in 2017. 

In 73 games last season, the NC State product posted a blistering .329 batting average, while adding 13 homers, 40 RBI and 33 stolen bases. In 2017, Turner will be even more important to the team as he moves to his natural position of shortstop, following the team trading for Adam Eaton, and trading away Danny Espinosa in the offseason. 

Of course in addition to Turner, right fielder Bryce Harper is garnering MVP predictions from different baseball writers, as is usually the case for him during spring training. After winning MVP in 2015, Harper followed that performance up with a subpar season (for his standards) in 2016. Last season Harper batted .243 with 24 homers and 86 RBI. While Harper didn't have the individual season he would've liked to have last year, he certainly seems poised to bounce back to his MVP form judging by how he's swung the bat in spring training. With just a couple exhibition games left before the regular season, Harper has hit an MLB-leading eight home runs to go along with his .304 batting average. 

While Harper and Turner are getting attention for the MVP award, it seems as if second baseman Daniel Murphy is sort of the forgotton man, even though he had a career year in 2016 on his way to finishing second in MVP voting to Kris Bryant. 

With three-legitimate stars on offense, and a dominant starting rotation, the Nationals are certainly in a good spot to repeat as NL East champions, and maybe finally win a playoff series. 

Related: Nationals name Blake Treinen their closer

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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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.