Bill Ladson

Dykstra showing hustle, making good impression on Nationals

Utility man playing well in first big league camp

Dykstra showing hustle, making good impression on Nationals

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Nationals infielder/outfielder Cutter Dykstra is in his first big league camp, and he has left a good impression with manager Matt Williams.

Entering Monday's action against the Yankees, Dykstra, the son of former Major Leaguer Lenny Dykstra, is 4-for-15 [.267] with two RBIs. Like his father, Dykstra is known for his hustle. For now, Dykstra is considered a speedy utility player.

"Cutter is a lot like his father," Williams said. "He is a grinder. He knows how to hit. He plays multiple positions. He is a smart baseball player. He knows what to do out there."

Dykstra, who came from the Brewers in a deal for Nyjer Morgan in 2011, had a productive season for Double-A Harrisburg last year, hitting .274 with six home runs and 49 RBIs and a .349 on-base percentage in 96 games. He was also selected as a midseason All-Star. The strong season earned him an invitation to Spring Training.

"I'm having a lot of fun," Dykstra said. "The first thing I kind of noticed is how important winning is up here. That's the player I want to be known as. I want to show them that I'm a winning player."

Dykstra credits Harrisburg manager Brian Daubach and hitting coach Mark Harris for giving him the confidence for making it this far.

"I felt really comfortable with them," he said, "and I think that's huge."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.