An analytics quandry when comparing catchers for the Nats!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

There was a distinct difference in wins last year when Riley Adams started a game last year. The Washington Nationals had a .349 winning percentage in Adams’ 43-starts. Contrast that with Keibert Ruiz‘s .388 winning percentage in his 98-starts, and his advantage is six more wins over a full season. But if you go to cERA (catcher’s ERA), Adams had a distinct advantage at 4.54 versus Ruiz’s 5.11. Sure, cERA means very little in most cases because of the smaller sample sizes and matchups with the battery.

But drilling down further on these statistical differences make matters curious. Yes, Ruiz was the better hitter with a 90 wRC+ stat versus 56 for Adams. You might expect the opposite on those wins with that cERA, but the team only scored exactly 3.5 runs per game with Adams in the lineup versus 4.02 runs per game with Ruiz in the lineup. That half run in cERA was basically cancelled out by the offensive runs per game. Obviously there are other factors in the team scoring more runs when Ruiz starts because he is not a one-man wrecking crew with a bat.  Continue reading

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The art of hitting is a combination of skill, positive thinking, a good memory, a plan, and a little bit of luck!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

There was a time in Washington Nationals’ history that batters seemed to have no plan (approach) when they got into the batter’s box. They were young in 2008, and teachers need good students to be successful. There seemed to be an evolution change where Nats’ hitters seemed to be smart about their approach in the batter’s box and had a plan. Years of wisdom helps too in the game of baseball. Now with a young team, and system, you hope that these key essentials are being taught at the lowest levels of the Nats’ system. Continue reading

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The Kids Really Will Love it.

Enormous amounts of Nats swag

On Thursday afternoon, Deuces, WTP and I visited the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to deliver the goodies we were able to collect at the end of 2022 as described in a previous post —  The Kids Do Love It – Donate Your Unused RCR Points.  This was a collaborative effort of TalkNats and two Facebook groups (Nationals RCR Codes and Diehard Nationals Fans), and almost certainly others who saw the tweeted and re-tweeted links to the effort.  Remarkably, we ended up with 83,862 RCR points, including over 20,000 points from someone who emailed me on New Years Eve and wanted to know if there was still time to donate.  (The answer was “yes, absolutely!”). Thank you to everyone who contributed.  In addition, we appreciate the folks who made direct donations of swag they had already obtained for their points.  These will go to good use as well.

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FanGraphs 2023 projections for the Nats offense!

Photo by Sol Tucker | TalkNats

When you look at the FanGraphs projections on the 2023 Washington Nationals, you might say they are aggressively optimistic on every projected starter — EXCEPT Joey Meneses. Overall, that is good news for the team if this is accurate.

The chart (below) kind of tells the story with CJ Abrams as the top improvement of +2.9 WAR from last year to this year. While Meneses shows WAR improvement, based on extrapolation, it is easy to see that they project a marked decline in his full season this year. They show “The Menace” at 602 plate appearances compared to his actual of 240 last year. Since WAR is a cumulative number, you can see that FanGraphs does not expect Meneses to produce at anywhere close to that .930 OPS level of last year. By the way, Baseball Reference is a little more bullish on Meneses and has him at an .816 OPS for 2023. Continue reading

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The offseason ends in less than four weeks as Spring Training camp opens!

Photo by Luis Albisu for TalkNats

For a Washington Nationals team coming off of a 107-loss season, the 2023 season is going to be all about elevating the prospects and youngsters in the system while showing progress at the MLB level. There is certainly a huge core building of young players aged-24 and under, and if you are an optimistic person, you do not have to look hard to see the positives. The pessimist on the other hand is spiraling in the doom and gloom and in the negatives of losing seasons. Guess what, that is how the 2012 NL East Champion Nats were born out of six consecutive years of losing, and that team turned those six years of hardship into eight years of winning that culminated in a World Series parade less than four years ago. Continue reading

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Counting on too much upside could be a recipe for disaster on a team!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

Counting on too much upside could be a recipe for a disaster on a team! As Washington Nationals‘ general manager Mike Rizzo added veterans to the roster recently, they are all coming off of down years. The odds are, that not all of them will have bounceback seasons, and Rizzo has no illusions of grandeur. He will look good on some and not so good on others. Jeimer Candelario, Dominic Smith, and Corey Dickerson were all added by the Nats on MLB deals, and last year they hit .217, .194, and .267 respectively. Continue reading

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What are your hopes for pleasant surprises for the Nats?

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

When Ghost has writer’s block, it is time for a DPW (Desinated Pinch Writer).

This will be short and sweet.  Here are three positive Hope Fors that you can comment on. Continue reading

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Daylen Lile is ready for anything after a rehab-focused 2022

Photo via Daylen Lile’s Twitter

In the second round of the 2021 draft, the Nationals selected Daylen Lile, an outfielder with a smooth left-handed swing. Lile was the 80th-ranked draft prospect in his class and earned a reputation as one of the best pure hitters coming out of high school. A month later, he was getting his first taste of professional baseball in rookie ball. Lile, the Nationals’ 16th-ranked prospect, ended the season with a .219 batting average and .613 OPS in 19 games. Continue reading

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The 14 new Washington Nationals prospects via International Free Agency

Photo by Luiggi Chavez for TalkNats

Here (pictured above) are 11 of the 14 new Washington Nationals prospects signed officially today as part of this International Free Agency class as reported by Anthony Puesán and @NationalsSource  Continue reading

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What Is Your Favorite Baseball Story

Photo by Laura Peebles

Time to have conversations about things more pleasant than how many games the Nationals will lose in 2023.

So we’ve collected a few stories from some regulars to get the conversation started.

Please comment with a favorite baseball story – and we mean stories that somehow involve you personally. Continue reading

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