Bonifacio picking up right where he left off

Bonifacio picking up right where he left off

WASHINGTON -- After having the best season of his career in 2011, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio has kept right on rolling.

Bonifiacio had a .340 average coming into this weekend's three-game series with the Nationals. He hit .296 in 152 games last year, career bests in both areas, and the former Washington outfielder said he's learned a few important lessons.

"I've been more patient at the plate," Bonifacio said. "I'm taking more pitches and [am doing] more hitting ahead in the count." Bonifacio said that Jack McKeon taught him an important lesson last year, something that's helped him become more of a weapon.

"He said 'I don't care how much you're hitting. I just really care about getting on base,'" Bonifacio said. "That's helped a lot."

Last year, Bonifacio drew 59 walks and finished with 40 steals. He's doing more of the same in 2012 -- with eight walks in just 13 games entering play Friday, a team-high nine steals, and a .441 on-base percentage. That was good for seventh in the National League.