MLB National League East Washington Nationals 2022
The Nationals have suffered a long fall since their 2019 World Series championship. Last season, the team finished dead last in the NL East. At 65-97, they finished 23.5 games out of first in the division.
Their poor play led to a massive overhaul at the trade deadline as they parted with several key players including Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Brad Hand, and Kyle Schwarber.
Heading into 2022, they will look for bounce back campaigns, both in terms of performance and health, from players like Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and others.
Despite the overhaul, they still have one of the best in the majors in Juan Soto. If they can add talent around him, they may need to retool as opposed to completely rebuilding.
Some of the top prospects on the farm include pitcher Cade Cavalli, catcher Keibert Ruiz, shortstop Brady House, outfielder Cristian Vaquero, and pitcher Cole Henry.
With the defending champion Atlanta Braves in their division, and several other teams more ready to contend, 2022 might be another tough year for the Nationals. Still, with talent both on the main club and in the minors, Washington fans hope that it won’t take long to see this team back in the postseason.
MLB National League East Washington Nationals History
The origins of the Washington Nationals goes back to 1969; however, not only were they not called the National initially, they weren’t even located in the United States.
The franchise first started as the Montreal Expos in 1969. They were one of four expansion teams that year, two from the National League and two from the American League.
Along with the San Diego Padres, the Expos (Nationals) took part in the National League expansion draft in 1968. The Expos first pick in the draft (second overall) was outfielder Manny Mota from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The rest of their top-five picks included outfielder Mack Jones, catcher John Bateman, infielder Gary Sutherland, pitcher Jack Billingham, and first baseman Donn Clendenon.
The Expos remained in Montreal until 2004. At that time, there were talks about the idea of contraction in MLB; however, the team was instead bought by Major League Baseball and moved to Washington D.C. Starting in 2005, the Nationals were officially born.
Since the creation of divisions in 1969, the Expos, and later the Nationals, have been a part of the NL East.
Going back to their first season in 1969, the Nationals’ franchise has a record just under .500. They are a combined 4,068 – 4,280, good for a .487 winning percentage. Since changing to the Nationals in 2005, the club is 1,313 – 1,337 (.495 winning percentage).
Due to moving cities, the Nationals have played in multiple ballparks. As the Expos, the club played in both Jarry Park Stadium (1969 – 1976) and Olympic Stadium (1977 – 2004). As the Nationals, the club started in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (2005 – 2007). Since 2008, they have played their home games at Nationals Park.