|With the departure of Ian Desmond to free agency, the pressure will be
on for Turner to come to D.C. – especially if either of Dans – Espinosa
or Murphy – struggles on offense early. Speed is Turner’s best tool,
but the scouts think he’ll produce some power, too. The defense needs
some polish, but despite the time spent at second base last fall, the
belief is he’ll be playing shortstop when the Nationals deem him ready…
if he doesn’t win the job out of spring training.
|Abreu turned in a strong first full season at Hagerstown with a line of
.274/.357/.412 as a 21-year-old. Like Wilmer Difo, he’s split time
between second base and shortstop, which may be a hedge of their
bets because he’s been good at the former and erratic at the latter.
Not a power threat but has the speed to turn drives into the gaps into
doubles, which he also used to swipe 30 bags for the Suns. Next up:
2016 in Potomac
|Lora’s batting average and on-base percentage took a dip from ’14 to
’15, but his slugging percentage improved 80 points, giving him an
overall improvement in OPS from .670 to .712. Age is still on his side
as he turned 20 after the season. What’s not clear is how the Nationals
will solve the potential gridlock between Lora, Schrock, Dulin, and
Gutierrez. His usage certainly suggests he has the edge, with all 35
games on defense played at short last summer for Auburn.
|Yes, this is probably a stretch to list Schrock as a SS, but since the
Nats have a long history of rotating MIs in the lower levels, it’s not
implausible that he might see some time here again in 2016.
Offensively, he was the top dog on one of the few affiliates that
didn’t struggle to score runs. Defensively, the reports are mixed –
some say “steady,” others mention it in passing to get to his strengths
as a lefthanded batter with good on-base and contact skills.