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Lastings Milledge: The Nationals New Leadoff Hitter

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MLB.com's Bill Ladsen reports that the Nationals will use OFer Lastings Milledge as their leadoff hitter in 2009. Nationals manager Manny Acta says he likes Milledge in the leadoff spot as he can steal more bases leading off than as the 2-hole hitter, hitting in front of Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn.

In 2008 Milledge stole 24 bases in 33 attempts, which is a 73% success ratio, but that was while hitting anywhere from 2nd to 7th in the batting order. Leading off, Milledge should have more opportunities to steal bases, which could lead him to stealing 30+ bases in 2009.

He has stated his goal is to steal 30 bases this year, but with his speed, I think he could approach 40. He will offer good value in snake drafts as he could put together a 20-35 or 20-40 season in 2009.