Next in line for my new plan for the Nats is Left Field. Follow along with the series here.
The Nats may not know exactly what they have in LF for the 2010 season, but they do know that they have something. Between Dunn and Willingham, you have a great hitting, poor fielding LF. I expect the team to stick one or the other at 1B, and while I'm hoping for Willingham to anchor the infield, I half-expect the Nats to keep Dunn there just for continuity's sake. I don't expect any major changes to LF next year...just a lot of seeing Dunn/Willingham replaced in the late innings by Willie Harris. I do not expect to see Leonard Davis (at least not at the beginning of the year), nor do I expect to see Jorge Padilla (nice story, but at some point he has to get more than 1 hit).
Sleeper Pick (from the organization): Marvin Lowrance
Lowrance really needs to be challenged to start the 2010 year. He had a poor 2009 season in terms of batting average, but his walk and strikeout rates were consistent and his power remained intact. If he starts hot, I can see him forcing his way into DC, even as just a bench player. I see him having the potential to be a Daryle Ward-type (if he can handle coming off of the bench).
Sleeper Pick (from outside the organization): Randy Winn
In 2010, Winn could serve the role that Austin Kearns was supposed to fill in 2009. He can play both corners very well, but has lost a step and is average at best defensively in CF (but with Nyjer Morgan, he would only be a fill-in there anyways). With Winn, you get consistency: decent bat, speed, defense, and few mistakes. What else do you want in a 4th outfielder?
2009 production by Nats left fielders to date: .276/.399/.519, 28 HR, 84 R, 77 RBI
2010 projection: I expect the rate stats to drop a bit (always assume the worst and hope for the best). The counting stats should probably increase in 2010 with more certainty in starting positions and stuff. .265/.380/.490 with 35 HR, 90 R and 100 RBI would fulfill that prediction. I'd be happy with that.
A list of the Nats currently under contract can also be found at Cot's.
The latest projected Elias Rankings (for Type A/B Free Agent purposes) can be found at MLB Trade Rumors.