Here's the Nats' all-time single-season team

January 4th, 2021

Imagine if you could go back in time and compile a team based on every player in Nationals history’s most standout single season. Who would be on your squad? In this article, take a look at a roster comprised of noteworthy performances over the years.

C: Wilson Ramos, 2016
Key stat: Ranked second among NL catchers in fielding percentage (.997)

Ramos played 131 games in 2016, and he stands out among Nationals backstoppers for his performance in his age-28 season. Ramos’ 3.0 WAR, .307/.354/.496 slash line, 148 hits, 22 home runs, 80 RBIs, 58 runs scored and .850 OPS are the highest single-season marks by a Nationals catcher (with an 80 game minimum). That year, Ramos earned his first All-Star selection and Silver Slugger Award. He also received MVP votes.

1B: Ryan Zimmerman, 2017
Key stat: Most hits and RBIs by a Nationals first baseman in a single season

As the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year, Zimmerman slashed .303/.358/.573 with a .930 OPS and 134 OPS+. He led Washington with a career high in home runs (36) and and 108 RBIs -- which were also good for sixth in the NL in both categories -- and was second on the team in hits (159). That season, Zimmerman became the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs, doubles, RBIs and total bases. He was named to his second All-Star team for his performance in his age-32 season.

2B: Daniel Murphy, 2016
Key stat: Highest single-season batting average (.347) in Nationals history

Murphy’s offensive production in 2016 was one of the most dominant performances in all of baseball that season. With a .347/.390/.595 slash line and .985 OPS, he finished second in NL MVP Award voting. His batting average was a mere .001 shy of tying DJ LeMahieu for best in the bigs. He also led the NL in slugging percentage, OPS and doubles (47), and he ranked third among NL players in offensive WAR (5.7). Murphy was named an All-Star and Silver Slugger that year.

SS: Trea Turner, 2019
Key stat: Hit for the cycle and belted a pair of walk-off homers

Turner had a standout 2019 season in spite of sustaining a broken finger. He slashed .298/.353/.497 with an .850 OPS and 116 OPS+. Among NL players, he ranked second in stolen bases (35), tied for eighth in doubles (37) and 10th in batting average. Turner wrapped up the 2019 regular season on a 12-game hitting streak, batting .352 with five home runs during that stretch. He smacked a go-ahead grand slam on Sept. 24 to clinch the Nats’ postseason berth, which eventually led to their World Series title.

3B: Anthony Rendon, 2019
Key stat: Major League-leading 126 RBIs were most by a Nationals third baseman

Rendon powered through the Nationals' 2019 World Series championship-winning season. He led MLB in RBIs (126) and paced the NL in doubles (44). Rendon slashed a monster .319/.412/.598 with a 1.010 OPS and 6.4 bWAR -- good for second in the NL in on-base percentage, third in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, and fifth in WAR. Chasing a title, he hit .417 in the NL Championship Series and tallied a total of 15 RBIs in the postseason. Rendon finished third in NL MVP voting, earned his first All-Star nod and won his second Silver Slugger Award in '19.

LF: Alfonso Soriano, 2006
Key stat: Became the fourth 40-40 player in Major League history (homers-stolen bases)

In his only year with the Nationals, Soriano set a team record in single-season home runs (46), runs scored (119) and extra-base hits (89). He ranks third in Washington’s single-season stolen bases (41), and his 6.1 WAR is highest among Nats left fielders (min. 50 percent of games played in LF). Soriano posted career-highs in OBP (.351), slugging (.560), OPS (.911) and OPS+ (135) across 159 games. He was an All-Star, Silver Slugger and MVP vote-getter in 2006.

CF: Denard Span, 2014
Key stat: Topped all Nationals center fielders with 184 hits in a single season

Bolstered by a .302/.355/.416 slash line, Span holds the highest single-season WAR (4.3) of a Nats center fielder (min. 100 games played at the position). He also stole a team-high 31 bases in 2014. That year among NL players, Span tied for first in hits and outfield putouts (377), fourth in doubles (39), and fifth in runs scored (94).

RF: Bryce Harper, 2015
Key stat: Unanimously named NL Most Valuable Player Award winner

Harper ranks atop the Nationals single-season leaderboard in offensive WAR (9.1), on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.649), OPS (1.109), OPS+ (198), at-bats per home run (12.4), times on base (301) and offensive win percentage (.854). On his way to becoming the franchise’s first MVP winner, Harper paced all players in OBP, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. He also led the NL in homers (42) and runs scored (118) while setting career highs in batting average (.330) and hits (172). Harper won a Silver Slugger Award and was named to his third All-Star team that year.

SP: Max Scherzer, 2018
Key stat: Earned highest WAR in a single-season among all Nats pitchers

Of all the standout performances on the mound, Scherzer holds the highest single-season WAR (8.4) by a Nationals pitcher. That year, he was 18-7 and finished second in NL Cy Young Award voting. He led NL pitchers in WHIP (0.911), opponents’ batting average (.188) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.2), and he tied for first in wins. Scherzer’s 2.53 ERA and 2.15 FIP also ranked third in the NL. The right-hander achieved the 300-strikeout milestone in only 220 1/3 innings -- the fifth-fewest innings of all time in a 200-strikeout season -- and he allowed the fewest hits all time (150) in a 300-strikeout season.

RP: Chad Cordero, 2005
Key stat: Holds the Nationals record for most saves in a single season

When the Nationals needed to close out a game, Cordero was their go-to. The righty earned an MLB-leading 47 saves in 2005, the most in a single season by a Nats pitcher. He posted an impressive 1.82 ERA and 0.969 WHIP over 74 1/3 innings in only his age-23 season. That year, Cordero was named an All-Star, finished fifth in the NL Cy Young race and received MVP votes.