Top 50 Washington Nationals
The Nation’s Capital of Washington D.C. may have seen a World Series Championship but it was not from the current incarnation of their team, the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals originally began in French Canada as the Montreal Expos in 1969, a team that finally made the MLB playoffs in 1981. In 1994, prior to the MLB strike, they had the best record in the game, but as imagined they would not have the opportunity to compete for the World Series.
Still, the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals have a lot of past players worth celebrating and a collection of current talent that could see them earn their first World Series in the near future.
Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
This list is updated up until the end of the 2017 Season.
Entering the Baseball Hall of Fame with an Expos hat in 2003, “The Kid”, Gary Carter, was considered to be one of the best Catchers in baseball for a decade, both with his bat and with his glove.
One of the most exciting players of the 1980’s, Tim Raines would lead the National League in Stolen Bases four years in a row and would make seven consecutive All Star Games. “The Rock” would also win a Batting Title and On Base Percentage Title in 1986 and would make the top ten in MVP voting three times. On his 15th and final year on the ballot, Raines would finally enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, and did so waering the cap of the Expos.
While “The Hawk”, Andre Dawson might be best known for winning the 1987 National League MVP with the Chicago Cubs, it was with the Montreal Expos that he had by far his greatest overall run.
Spending his entire career in a Montreal Expos uniform, Steve Rogers would have a very healthy career which would see him lead the league in Earned Run Average in 1982 and make the National League All Star Team five times. Rogers would finish in the top five in Cy Young voting three times.
Easily one of the most highly touted players in baseball history, Vladimir Guerrero did not disappoint when he was finally called up to the Majors. Guerrero actually goes down as the man who will have the most home runs as a Montreal Expo (234) with a Slugging Percentage well over .500. He would also lead the NL in Hits in 2002 as well as Total Bases.
One of the more underrated players in the1 1980’s, Tim Wallach would make five All Star Games on the strength of his reputation with the respective National League Managers who selected him. In addition to his five All Star appearances, Wallach would earn a pair of Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Gloves.
As of this writing, Ryan Zimmerman has completed fifteen years in Major League Baseball, all of which have been with the Washington Nationals. He has been a constant for the team providing power and a solid batting average. While Zimmerman will never be considered an elite player he has been better than the average Major League Baseball player for years and could add to his two Silver Sluggers, one Gold Glove and two All-Star Game appearances and climb even higher than his already strong ranking.Zimmerman was a member of the Washington Nationals 2019 World Series Championship Team.
Did Bryce Harper deserved to be ranked so high, so quickly?
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Max Scherzer has only been with the Washington Nationals for four seasons and he did something that we thought either Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg would do first. He is the first player who competed in Washington to be in the top five in franchise history.
The greatest Pitcher to come out of Nicaragua, Dennis Martinez had the best years of his long career with the Montreal Expos where he would be a three time All Star and won the ERA title in 1991. Martinez would finish fifth in National League Cy Young voting that season.
In the last fifty years, Stephen Strasburg was about as highly prized a pitching prospect as there was. Strasburg has famously had his pitch count watched (even keeping him out of the 2012 Playoffs) after coming off of rehab of Tommy John surgery and the overall protection of the former number one draft pick might be the most of any player in baseball history.The perceived coddling has paid off as Strasburg has represented Washington in three All-Star Games and was a second runner-up for the National League Cy Young (losing to his teammate, Max Scherzer) in 2017 where he was…
Pedro Martinez would become a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, predominantly based on his work with the Boston Red Sox. Still, it was with the Montreal Expos where Pedro would assert his stardom.
A three pitch Pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Washington Nationals. As a Nat, Zimmermann would be named a National League All Star twice and led the league in Wins in the 2013 season.
With his blazing speed Marquis Grissom was a demon on the basepaths, twice leading the National League in Stolen Bases as an Expo. Grissom was also quite adept utilizing his speed patrolling the outfield, as he would earn two of his four Gold Gloves in Montreal.
The first player on this list who played for “both the Expos and the Nationals”, Livan Hernandez had his best regular seasons for this franchise. A World Series MVP with the Marlins in 1997, Hernandez would become a two time All Star and a bona fide innings eater for the Expos/Nationals.
Gio Gonzalez had a great first season with the Washington Nationals in 2012 where he would become the second runner up for the National League Cy Young Award and lead the league in Wins, FIP and SO/9. While he has not yet replicated that All Star season he has been earned his rotation spot earning double digit Wins every year since joining the Nats. In 2017 he would again finish in the top ten in Cy Young voting (sixth) while going 15 and 9 with a 2.96 ERA. Gonzalez would be traded in 2018 to the Milwaukee Brewers but his…
Prior to becoming a superstar and MVP in Colorado, Larry Walker was a very good player with the Montreal Expos who would become the only Canadian to win the franchise’s MVP award. Walker would make an All Star Game, and win two Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger as an Expo.
A three time All Star from Puerto Rico, Jose Vidro had 1,280 Hits as an Expo/National and would be higher on this list had he been better on the defensive side of the baseball.
Spending his first six seasons of his MLB career with the Montreal Expos, Javier Vazquez was a good power pitcher who struck out 200 batters twice as an Expo. Vazquez never quite lived up to his billing as he gave up far too many hits, but was a better than most starting pitcher during his tenure in Montreal.
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