"Very beneficial," Espinosa said. "You talk to someone like that, that good of a hitter, I mean very beneficial."
Of course Garciaparra was one of the best offensive shortstops during his 14-year Major League career when he hit .313/.361/.521. Although Espinosa acknowledged that the two were different hitters with different strengths -- Espinosa usually does not hit for a high average -- he still found takeaways from Garciaparra's approach. Garciaparra used to focus on hitting low line drives back at the screen before the game.
"You can take something from everything," Espinosa said. "To be able to look and see what he did with his rounds, and how he got guys to throw pitches where he wanted, too."
The conversation paid off Tuesday night when Espinosa hammered his 13th home run of the year, matching his output from last season. And Espinosa has been swinging the bat well lately especially for power. Since May 26, he is slugging .654 with 10 homers.
Only two shortstops in baseball had homered more than Espinosa entering Wednesday, Colorado's Trevor Story (18) and Los Angeles' Corey Seager (15).
"I hit mistakes. I'm not trying to hit home runs," Espinosa said. "I'm just trying to get a good pitch to hit."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.