On Tuesday the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun as the 2011 National League MVP. 26 players from the N.L. received votes and included in that mix was Nats first basemanoutfielder Michael Morse. Morse finished 19th with five votes, marking the third straight season a Nationals player has received the honor.
Michael Morses 2011 season was not only a big surprise, but it compares favorably as one of the best years for a Nationals player since the team moved to Washington, D.C. Now that the dust has settled from the teams 80-81 campaign, we got to thinking. Where does Morses year actually rank in the seven seasons the Nats have been in town?
Read our list and feel free to weigh in on how you would rank the seasons in the comment section. And if you feel we have left anyone out please let us know who we missed.
1. Alfonso Soriano 2006.277.351.560 119 R 46 HR 95 RBI 41 SB 5.7 WAR
Soriano played just one season in D.C., but the year he had was one for the history books. He hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases, one of only four players in the history of the game to have a 4040 season (B. Bonds, J. Canseco, A. Rodriguez). Sorianos 46 homers in one year are the best in franchise history and his 119 runs rank third. After the 2006 season, the converted outfielder cashed in with an 8-year 136 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.
2. Ryan Zimmerman - 2009.292.364.525 - 110 R 33 HR 106 RBI 37 2B - 5.2 WAR
In 2009 Ryan Zimmerman earned his first All-Star appearance, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards. He set career highs with 33 home runs and 110 runs and his 106 RBI were 6th in the National League. With an exceptional year both offensively and defensively, Zimmerman proved his worth as a franchise player for years to come.
3. Michael Morse 2011.303.360.550 73 R 31 HR 95 RBI - .910 OPS 3.0 WAR
Coming into the 2011 season, Michael Morse was a reserve outfielder looking to make a bigger impact for the Nationals. Injuries provided an opportunity for Morse to put together an impressive campaign where he led the team in home runs (31), RBI (95), and slugging percentage (.550). While it remains to be seen if Morse can build on his career year, he certainly put together one of the most surprising and fun to watch seasons Nationals fans have ever seen.
4. Nick Johnson 2006.290.428.520 100 R 23 HR 77 RBI 110 BB - .948 OPS 5.2 WAR
An original National, Nick Johnson had his best season as a professional for the club in 2006. Known for his patient approach at the plate, Johnson was fourth in the National League in OBP at .428, and third in walks with 110. He also smacked 47 doubles helping lead him to a .948 OPS. Though oft-injured during his tenure in Washington, Johnson is the franchise leader in career OBP at .408.
5. Ryan Zimmerman 2006.287.351.471 84 R 20 HR 110 RBI 47 2B 2.4 WAR
Zimmerman made his major league debut in 2005, but remained rookie eligible for 2006 after playing just 20 games. His first full season was sensational as he placed a close 2nd in N.L. Rookie of the Year voting to Floridas Hanley Ramirez. Zimmerman hit 110 RBI which ranks 6th in franchise history, and placed 6th in the National League that season with 47 doubles.
Michael Huberman contributed to this report.