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06/08/08 2:10 PM ET

Nats coach Harris praises Guzman

Hitting instructor impressed by shortstop's work habits

WASHINGTON -- Ask Nationals hitting coach Lenny Harris about shortstop Cristian Guzman and there will be a smile on Harris' face.

Guzman has been the Nationals' best hitter by far and his professionalism on and off the field has been the key to his success, according to Harris. Entering Sunday's action, Guzman is hitting .305 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. He is on pace to collect 200 hits and score 100 runs.

"You watch his work habits, the way he carries himself, he has been a professional on the field and off the field," Harris said. "He is always making progress. I watch him all the time and he reminds me of a lot of guys that I played with."

Asked why no one else on the team has been as consistent as Guzman, Harris said, "You have to look at it and say that not everybody is on his level just because you are in the big leagues.

"You have guys 22, 23 years old and learning how to play in this level. Guzman has been around for a while. He has been playing a lot of baseball and he learns a lot. These guys are going through what Guzman has already been through. A lot of guys have to catch up."

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