Player Preview: Wilmer Difo

Little is known about where Wilmer Difo came from, but what is known is he burst on the scene and would not be forgotten. At some point in his career as a minor league player Difo became a prospect. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when this happened but it may have something to do with his .315/.360/.470 batting line at Hagerstown in 2014. Difo continued that hot hitting in 2015 at Potomac and earned a surprise call-up mid-season. 

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Player Preview: Rafael Martin

Whenever Rafael Martin’s name is mentioned in discussions of 2016 predictions, two possible narratives should come to mind. 

The first – and preferred scenario for Nationals fans– is a tale that would more closely resemble a movie screenplay than a real-life story of “how to make it in baseball.” 

The second – and, arguably, more likely – narrative is one of an everyday John Doe who had just the right amount of talent to catch the eyes of baseball scouts, but who lacks the experience and development needed to shut down batters on the main stage.

Before laying out either scenario, one has to acknowledge how amazing it is that Martin’s name is even relevant in baseball today. And, should the fairytale play out, the Nationals could benefit from the ultimate underdog’s story. 

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Player Preview: Stephen Drew

One of the perhaps underrated pieces to the Washington Nationals’ infield repair job is none other than Stephen Drew. 

Signed in early January to a one-year, $3 million deal carrying up to $1.25 million in incentives, Drew represents insurance for the Nats, a team known for battling multiple injury bug outbreaks year after year. 

That’s not to forget Drew’s own gruesome battle with injury recovery. There was that fateful day of July 21, 2011, on which the only thing more gut-wrenching  then the direction Drew’s ankle bent on a slide into home plate was the manner in which he instinctively pulled said ankle back into place

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Pitching Depth Player Profiles

Depth is always an issue in the major leagues, as a 162 game season played over 183 days causes more than simple wear and tear on players. Over the last five seasons, the Nats have used at least 20 batters and 18 pitchers every year in the big leagues, averaging 21.8 batters, 21.2 pitchers, and 43 players total per season. For this reason, it’s important for us to look beyond projecting the 25-man roster (or even the 40-man roster) and look at AAAA-type players, MiLB free agent signings and Rule 5 draft picks. 

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Player Preview: Clint Robinson

Given 126 games and 352 plate appearances Clint Robinson excelled by the standards of a 30 year old rookie and bench player, hitting .272/.358/.424, good for a 115 wRC+ and 0.4 fWAR after the harsh positional adjustment of first base. That placed him 12th in the NL among first basemen with at least 250 plate appearances, just ahead of fellow left-handed, defensive deficient Pedro Alvarez and even the injury-hampered Zimmerman.

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Player Preview: Blake Treinen

Who is Blake Treinen?

Earlier this offseason, the 27-year-old right-hander joined the likes of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers in a rare category for athletes – a Jeopardy category, that is.

Recognized for the velocity of his sinker – which, as the clue stated, has been known to hit the 100 MPH mark – Treinen’s name has been tossed around a bit this offseason as a possibility to fill a hole in the starting rotation.  Recently, however, that has looked less and less likely, as manager Dusty Baker has all but declared Treinen will start the season out of the bullpen.

Setting aside what the current starting rotation might be, there are a number of reasons Washington should delay any moves to transition Treinen to a starting role. 

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Player Preview: Oliver Perez

Perez then spent some time relearning his pitching mechanics and how to get people out in the minor leagues. He was picked up by the Nationals 2 days after being released by the mets and put at Double A Harrisburg. He started 15 games there and relieved once. In 2012, the Mariners picked up the lefty on a minor league deal. Perez earned a nod back up to the big club in Seattle as a reliever on June 16th and he would go on to pitch 29 and 2/3 innings as a Mariner with a 2.12 ERA and a 2.93 FIP. Given the good performance, the Mariners brought him back for a second season where he would have his best year yet as a reliever. Perez had a 12.57 K/9 and a 3.26 FIP over the course of 53 innings in 2013. 2014 and 2015 saw continued success for Perez for the Diamondbacks and the Astros.

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