Oftentimes a team's bench goes overlooked when determining how good a team is and rightfully so as the average bench player gets about half as many plate appearances as a starter. But bench players, especially in the National League, are an important part of a team's overall success. No team goes without injuries through an entire season and every team, especially in the NL, needs pinch hitters. A good bench can provide extra value in these situations, often creating the difference between two evenly matched teams.
The Nationals bench in 2012 was one of the best benches in the Major Leagues. The four main bench players: Chad Tracy, Roger Bernadina, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi earned the nickname the Goon Squad for the value they provided as back-ups. Altogether the four combined for 3.4 wins above replacement according to Fangraphs. Nationals' pinch hitters were the best in batting average and second in OPS in Major League baseball in 2012. They were a solid unit.Read More