In praising Denard Span after the late November trade which brought the 28-year-old, five-year veteran to the Washington Nationals from the Minnesota Twins, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo described the '02 1st Round pick as a "a true defensive ballhawk center field type of guy with great range," who, "Sabermetrically and with a scout's eye," was, "... a front line defensive center fielder." Offensively, Rizzo said, Span was a, "high average guy, .350 OBP-type of guy," who, "... doesn't strike out," or is at least, "... one of the tougher guys in the league to strike out." If there was room for improvement anywhere, Rizzo said it was on the basepaths. Span is, ".. a guy that in the past has stolen a lot of bases," the Nats' general manager explained, "and we feel is really going to come into his own as a base stealer in the National League."

Span too said it was an area of his game that could use improvement. Span stole 18 bases in 25 attempts in 98 games in his rookie campaign with the Twins in 2008. In '09 he was 23 for 33 over 145 games. Span stole 26 bases in 30 attempts in 2010, collecting the highest stolen base total of his career in 153 games. In his injury-shortened 2011 season, Span stole six bases in seven attempts and last year in Minnesota the speedy outfielder stole 17 in 23 attempts.