When talking about offense from defensive positions the Nats are in a good place. Consider that between Harper, Espinosa, and Desmond they could end up with 20 homer output from three up the middle positions, and the other, Kurt Suzuki, has started to heat up and revert to the player he was prior to 2012. There are a few people that feel having all these power hitters is a bit redundant, but let’s look and see how the Nats players compare at their position in the field and in the batting order.
First up is Jayson Werth who on the season has hit .310/.399/.463 compared to an average right fielder at .262/.328/.436 and the average lead-off hitter at .263/.325/.395. Next up in Bryce Harper who is batting .265/.337/.458 compared to the average centerfielder at .267/.332/.418 and the average number two hitter at .262/.321/.394. Both Werth and Harper are better than both their positional averages and their position in the batting order.
Now for the middle of the order. Zimmerman on the season is batting .286/.351/.475 and the average third baseman .263/.325/.424 and the average number three hitter .273/.349/.463. Michael Morse on the season is hitting .285/.315/.444 and the average left fielder .261/.326/.433 and the average clean-up hitter .271/.344/.464. Adam LaRoche in 2012 has hit .269/.342/.505 and the average first baseman .261/.336/.441 and the average number five hitter .260/.323/.438. Morse is lacking a bit in OBP, but he is close enough that he can be considered to be right around and average left fielder and a slightly below average clean-up hitter while both Zimmerman and LaRoche have been above average.
The bottom of the order hitters for the Nationals are where they really shine. For the season Desmond has hit .292/.328/.515, the average short stop .257/.308/.380, and average number six hitter .257/.322/.422. Danny Espinosa for the season is a .255/.321/.416 hitter while the average second baseman is hitting .257/.318/.384 and the average seven hole hitter .251/.311/.404. Since becoming a National Kurt Suzuki has hit .263/.330/.421 compared to the average catcher at .248/.318/.401 and the average number eight hitter at .243/.306/.366. The Nats bottom of the order is superior to an average bottom of the order. Especially with the power from the middle infielders.
Looking over these numbers and one thing is very clear. The Nats have at least average hitters for every defensive position and are above average at almost every spot in the line-up. There are no big stand outs for the Nats, and no real MVP candidates, but what they lack in superstar power they make up for in depth. The Nats have the type of line-up where it is hard for an opposing pitcher to find breathing room. There isn’t a single hitter that is an easy out and it is hard to find the hitter that pitchers are circling as their easy out.
Coming into the season many expected that the Nationals offense would be their downfall. That they would struggle on a nightly basis and would be lucky to average around 4.0 runs a game. Instead the Nats offense on the season has average 4.54 runs a game on the season and ranks fourth in the NL. The Nats don’t just have a decent or good offense they have one of the best in the league in 2012, and it is because of a line-up with no holes and hitters that are all average or above for their position. So, maybe the Nats do have some redundant bats, redundantly good.