Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Nationals Rookie Takes Advantage of Early Playing Time

A Washington Nationals rookie is taking advantage of playing time early this season. Jacob Young brings speed and excitement to the Nats lineup that desperately needs a jolt. The Nationals lineup has been plagued with injuries over the last month, especially in the outfield.  During April, Nick Senzel, Victor Robles, and Stone Garrett spent time on the injured list. This opened the door for a speedy outfielder in Young, who worked his way back to the big leagues.

Jacob Young’s Immediate Impact

Since Young was called up from Triple-A Rochester on April 4, 2024, he has been the starting center fielder for Washington, playing in 22 games already this season. It took a few games for Young to find his footing but over the last month, the rookie’s batting average is up to .313.  Despite having the tools of a leadoff man, Young has been batting in the nine hole.  With Young in the wrap-around spot, he serves as a set-up man for leadoff batter CJ Abrams. Young is getting on base at a .352 clip and already has 12 stolen bases in 2024. With Young getting on base Abrams and the top of the order are getting more RBI opportunities.  This strategy is already paying off, with Young scoring 16 runs in April.

Young Sets Nationals Stolen Base Record

Jacob Young set the Washington Nationals record for most consecutive stolen bases without being caught to start a career.  Spanning back to 2023 where Young stole 13 bases, he continued his speed on the base paths and picked up 12 more stolen bases before being caught by the battery of Jacob Latz and Jonah Heim for the Texas Rangers.  This put Young in good company, tied with Jacoby Ellsbury and Quintin Berry at 25.  This places Young in the top four all-time since MLB started recording the stat in 1951.

This record, however, is really for anyone who has ever worn a Nationals jersey. If you get out your history books and go back to 1981 you will see that Tim Raines holds the franchise record, 27, for the Montreal Expos. Anytime you are in the same company as a hall of famer it is worth talking about, and they need something to talk about in Washington.

Future with the Nationals

It is unclear what Young’s future will be this season with Washington. Victor Robles is currently rehabbing in Triple-A and according to manager Davey Martinez, the organization is not going to rush Robles back.

“He went out. He’ll play. He’s going to Rochester, so he’ll start tomorrow,” manager Davey Martinez said during his pregame media session. “We’ll get him out there and, like I said, we’ll take it as quick but as slow as possible in the same breath. Just want to make sure he’s completely healthy.”

With Young playing at his current level it will be difficult for Washington to send him back down to the minors.

“It doesn’t really make it hard. It’s actually a really good problem to have,” Martinez said of the possible roster crunch. “I love the way these guys are playing right now. They’re playing really well. Jacob is doing well. When (Robles) comes back, we’ll have some decisions to make. So we’ll see what happens. But he’s got to get through this rehab first, and then we’ll make those decisions when he’s back.”

The Nationals are 7-3 in the last ten games and are sitting at .500 in the difficult National League East as Young has been a big part of that success. Once Robles returns it will only bolster the roster. What a great problem to have in Washington.   

Main Photo: © D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message