We all know that Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is good enough to win MVP any given year, but what about another Nats position player?
After exploding onto the scene last season and finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year voting, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez is predicting that Trea Turner will win the NL MVP in 2017.
In 73 games last season, the NC State product posted a blistering .329 batting average, while adding 13 homers, 40 RBI and 33 stolen bases. In 2017, Turner will be even more important to the team as he moves to his natural position of shortstop, following the team trading for Adam Eaton, and trading away Danny Espinosa in the offseason.
Of course in addition to Turner, right fielder Bryce Harper is garnering MVP predictions from different baseball writers, as is usually the case for him during spring training. After winning MVP in 2015, Harper followed that performance up with a subpar season (for his standards) in 2016. Last season Harper batted .243 with 24 homers and 86 RBI. While Harper didn't have the individual season he would've liked to have last year, he certainly seems poised to bounce back to his MVP form judging by how he's swung the bat in spring training. With just a couple exhibition games left before the regular season, Harper has hit an MLB-leading eight home runs to go along with his .304 batting average.
While Harper and Turner are getting attention for the MVP award, it seems as if second baseman Daniel Murphy is sort of the forgotton man, even though he had a career year in 2016 on his way to finishing second in MVP voting to Kris Bryant.
With three-legitimate stars on offense, and a dominant starting rotation, the Nationals are certainly in a good spot to repeat as NL East champions, and maybe finally win a playoff series.
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DENVER (AP) -- Trea Turner has hit for the third cycle in Washington Nationals history against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Turner also has a career-high seven RBIs on a cold night in the Mile High City.
He had a single in the first, a two-run double in the second, a two-run homer in the sixth and a bases-loaded triple in the seventh.
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The field temperature was a balmy 37 degrees when Turner recorded the final part of his cycle in the seventh inning.
It was the first cycle by the Nationals since Cristian Guzman on Aug. 28, 2008.
Overall, this was the ninth cycle in Expos/Nationals history.
In addition, Turner's seven RBIs are tied for the second-most in a single game in Nationals history.
The Nationals hung on to beat the Rockies 15-12 after giving up seven runs in the final three innings.
If you've understandably been caught up with the Capitals and Wizards in their respective playoff series, you might not be aware of just how hot Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is right now. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Mets in New York, Harper was named National League Player of the Week.
For the whole week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored.
He is now leading all of baseball in batting average (.400), he's tied for second in homers (7), and he's alone in second in RBI (20). He's also amassed a blistering 1.340 OPS through the team's first 18 games.
Harper's biggest game of the past week came in Atlanta when he went yard twice, with his second homer being a grand slam. He finished the game 4-for-4 with two homers, one double, five RBI, one walk and four runs scored.
With Harper's injuries from last season behind him (even though he won't completely admit to being hurt), the Nationals' right fielder is back to, or even better than, his 2015 form that ended with his first career MVP award. During that season Harper took home player of the week honors three times.
The Nationals as a team have the best record in baseball at 13-5, and already have a three-game lead in the NL East.
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