Espinosa excited to play winter ball in Puerto Rico

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa is preparing to finish up the season strong and then play winter ball for one month in Puerto Rico for Ponce.

Espinosa feels that playing winter ball will help refine his hitting skills and will give him more reps at second base after the major league season concludes.

"I am very excited," Espinosa said. "I am really looking forward to the opportunity. I think that it is going to be great for my hitting, especially. That is the main reason I am going down there is to continue the advancement of my hitting and not stop here so I come into spring training a better hitter."

Nationals third base coach Pat Listach will manage the Ponce team. Some of Espinosa's minor league teammates will join him in Puerto Rico as well, including Chris Marrero, Jeff Mandel, Hassan Pena and Patrick McCoy.

Espinosa says his transition to second base has gone well, but he knows there is still work to do.

"I feel great. I feel very comfortable. The only thing that I need to continue to work on is my positioning there. It is tough to feel where I need to play against these guys. At short, when you have played there forever, you have a better idea where you need to be set up. At second base, I am still learning."

He is also unfazed after slowing down a bit at the plate for a few weeks.

"At every level I have gone to, I have started hot, cooled down, and picked it back up," Espinosa said. "It is just that learning period of a couple weeks where I struggle, and I always get it back."

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