Which player’s start has been most impressive?

There have been plenty of positives for the Nationals through the season’s first 18 games - the franchise-best start, the league-best ERA, the clutch hitting and the play of the Nats’ bench to name just a few.

Individually, there has been plenty to like, as well.

A number of Nationals players have gotten off to hot starts and have helped lead the team to the best record in the National League. But I’m curious as to who you think has been the most impressive performer so far this season.

Below, I’ll list a few candidates, along with each guy’s accomplishments thus far this season. Feel free to chime in with whom in that group you have been most impressed with thus far, or toss out a name that I might not have included.

Here we go:

Stephen Strasburg
Stat line: 2-0, 1.08 ERA, 25 IP, 25 Ks, 6 BBs, .193 batting average against, 0.92 WHIP
Most impressive stat: Of the batters that reach against Strasburg, 87.5 percent are left on base.

Gio Gonzalez
Stat line: 2-0, 1.52 ERA, 23 2/3 IP, 27 Ks, .157 batting average against, 0.85 WHIP
Most impressive stat: How about that streak of 20 straight scoreless innings, spanning three starts?

Jordan Zimmermann
Stat line: 1-1, 1.33 ERA, 27 IP, 16 Ks, 2 BBs, .181 batting average against, 0.70 WHIP
Most impressive stat: Zimmerman has an 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Yeah, that’s pretty good.

Ross Detwiler
Stat line: 2-0, 0.56 ERA, 16 IP, 15 Ks, .193 batting average against, 0.94 WHIP
Most impressive stat: Detwiler’s ERA is tops in the majors among starters with at least three starts.

Henry Rodriguez
Stat line: 0-1, 5 saves in 5 opportunities, 8 1/3 IP, 10 Ks, 6 BBs, .038 batting average against
Most impressive stat: How tough has it been to put the bat on the ball against Rodriguez? He’s allowed one hit in his 8 1/3 innings.

Craig Stammen
Stat line: 2-0, 1.04 ERA, 8 2/3 IP, 11 Ks, 3 BBs
Most impressive stat: Over a three-inning span from April 12-15, eight of nine hitters Stammen retired were via the strikeout.

Adam LaRoche
Stat line: .313 batting average, 2 HRs, 14 RBIs, .403 on-base percentage, .478 slugging percentage
Most impressive stat: The run production has been much needed. Where would the Nats be without those 14 RBIs?

Ian Desmond
Stat line: .280 batting average, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, .321 on-base percentage, .413 slugging percentage
Most impressive stat: Desmond’s on-base percentage isn’t through the roof, but he’s done a nice job setting the table this season.

Jayson Werth
Stat line: .292 batting average, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 11 BBs, .431 on-base percentage
Most impressive stat: Werth’s power numbers aren’t all that high, but he has three bases-loaded walks this season, all in big spots.

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