Ever since the 2019 World Series championship, the Washington Nationals have been in a rebuilding period that started off in a discrete manner, but became evident in 2021.
After the Fall Classic win three years ago, Howie Kendrick retired, Ryan Zimmerman had just a couple of years in him, Anthony Rendon signed elsewhere, and the team gave a seven-year deal to Stephen Strasburg.
It doesn’t get more “rebuild-y” than that.
They have had losing seasons each year since taking the trophy, and the situation got much worse this year: they have a league-worst 54-101 record.
The silver lining for a 54-101 team is that they can shift their focus to talent evaluation and the development of young players with an eye on the future.
He may not be that young, but Washington appears to have found a diamond in the rough in Joey Meneses.
Meneses Has Been Quite A Find For Washington
The first baseman/outfielder is 30 years old, but it looks like he deserved an extended chance in MLB years ago.
He has experience in some of the best leagues in the world other than MLB, and was the International League MVP in 2018 when he was 26.
“Joey Meneses has 65 hits through his first 50 career @MLB games,” the Nats tweeted.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 30, 2022
The team, in fact, has been celebrating Meneses’ success all year long.
And the player has done nothing but rake since getting an extended chance.
In 212 plate appearances, he has 12 home runs and is hitting .320/.358/.563 for the season.
His 153 wRC+ indicates that he has been 53 percent better than the league average.
It appears Washington has a controllable middle-of-the-order masher for the future.
He is no spring chicken, but Meneses should still have a few productive seasons.