Okay, now who’s your leadoff hitter?
With Nyjer Morgan traded to Milwaukee, there is no obvious leadoff hitter in what figures to be the everyday lineup. The favorite is Ian Desmond, but his career OBP is just .309. He only walked 28 times in 574 plate appearances last year, and even in the minor leagues, he never walked more than 57 times.
Jerry Hairston Jr. is another possibility, though he’s never had a particularly high OBP either. He also doesn’t figure into the everyday lineup very often. Danny Espinosa’s career minor league OBP is .365, but he also tends to whiff more than 100 times per season.
With Morgan gone, the Nationals have no singular constant stolen base threat - not that you necessarily need one to win consistently. Roger Bernadina had a year very similar to Morgan’s last year in terms of average and OBP, and was 16-for-18 in stolen base attempts. Bernadina nearly matched his minor league career high in homers with 11 in 2010, but at the moment, hasn’t definitively made the ballclub. However, with Morgan gone, Bernadina’s speed may play heavily into the final roster decisions.
This final week of spring training should be interesting.