Jayson Werth Excelling In Leadoff Spot

7:07 PM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
Photo via US Presswire
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Inside the clubhouse, the most liked National is Gio Gonzalez. The funniest Nat award would probably go to Michael Morse. The most outspoken? Definitely Ian Desmond.

But what about the most respected?

National players have sprayed continual glowing commentary about Jayson Werth this season -- something that seemed almost impossible in the early portions of Werth's forgettable 2011 campaign. Bryce Harper stated that Werth is his mentor and Davey Johnson has often bragged about his outfielders bright baseball mind.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman can now be added to that list. The longest tenured Nat is quite enthused with Werth's willingness to bat in the leadoff spot.

"That's one of the best things about Jayson that I think gets overlooked. He came over here with a big contract...and all this. A lot of guys who have contracts like that aren't as willing to do as many things and be as flexible as he is," said Zimmerman.

"I think that kind of shows what kind of person he is."

Since returning from his injury, Werth has quietly been a catalyst for the Washington offense. It's not his .380 batting average or his eight RBI's which are speaking volumes, but more so his .475 on base percentage. Werth is wearing down pitchers.

"Jayson's been doing great leading off," Davey Johnson said. "Two guys like Werth and Harper, one-two before the middle of the lineup, it's not easy to matchup with."

Like Zimmerman stated above, not many players would be willing to be as bendable as Werth is proving to be. Batting leadoff in a pennant race isn't an effortless task. On Sunday, Werth went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Werth's continued tear at the plate will quietly be the key for the Nats during the upcoming series with Atlanta.

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