Langerhans' plan of attack paying off

Langerhans showing promise for Nats

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nationals outfielder Ryan Langerhans is starting to show consistency at the plate. Entering Thursday's action, Langerhans was 9-for-18 (.421) during the month of July to raise his batting average to .286.

Last year, Langerhans struggled mightily and hit .167 with six home runs and 23 RBIs. It didn't help that he tried to become a home run hitter like his former Braves teammate, Chipper Jones.

This year, Langerhans has a different game plan. That is to get his body in good position to hit the ball all over the field. It's working -- big time.

"I have a better approach up there," Langerhans said. "In the Minor Leagues, I would have a game plan and stick with it. In the big leagues, it seems I would go up there and, sometimes, I would go up there and react instead of having a game plan."

Langerhans has received a lot of playing time after the All-Star break, but he most likely will have a reduced role when center fielder Lastings Milledge is activated from the disabled list. While Milledge will get his job back, Willie Harris will move from center to left field.

Langerhans said he will continue to have a game plan whenever he comes to the plate.

"I think the approach will help me out in the reserve role also," he said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.