CJ Abrams’ Development Accelerates

“Ceej” is Seizing the Day at the top of the Order

There have been enough bright spots in the Washington Nationals season so far to keep the Nats loyal fan base engaged this year and beyond. The emergence of SS CJ Abrams is one of them.

CJ Abrams led MLB in stolen bases in the month of July

To name just a handful more of Nats season highlights:

  • Lane Thomas’ offense (.284, 15 HR, 67 RBI) and defense (tied for MLB lead in OF assists with 11) have been a very pleasant surprise. 
  • Joey Meneses (.279/11/63) has proved that his brief stint in 2022 was not a fluke.
  • Leading an improved bullpen, Kyle Finnegan (5-3, 18 saves, 2.70 ERA) bounced back from two bad games within the first week of the season. 
  • The drafting of OF Dylan Crews
  • The development of young Washington starting pitchers Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore.

But as Gray and Gore have cooled off a bit, shortstop CJ Abrams (22) has revved up his game and progression.

In 30 games from July 1 – August 7, this is what CJ did:

On July 7th, versus the Texas Rangers, Manager Dave Martinez put Abrams in the leadoff spot

In 28 games batting leadoff this is what CJ has done

  • 36 hits in 114 at bats (.316 average)
  • 5 doubles and a triple
  • 4 home runs and 10 RBI
  • 16 out of 16 stolen bases
  • Raised his overall batting average 25 points up to .258.

On August 3, the Nationals optioned Abrams’ double play buddy, SS Luis García, to the AAA Rochester Red Wings. We’ll see how CJ responds to that but last Sunday in Cincinnati, he hit the first pitch of the game 402 feet way over the wall in right field.

UPDATE: Tonight in the top of the third inning in Philadelphia, CJ Abrams set the Nationals’ team record for consecutive stolen bases at 25. In his first full season in the District.

You can also see the development in Abrams’ defense.  He seems more determined and relaxed.  What did Davey say this time? Since July 7, he’s made one error (July 8 – his 2nd game batting leadoff). Abrams has made 14 errors on the season, but half of them came in April.  CJ seems to be embracing and having more fun in his new “leadership” role.

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Dominic Toto

Blogging about the Nats since 2022. Nats nut since 2004. Once hit a batting practice ball that cleared the infield dirt at Nationals Park. On a fly.

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