(John McDonnell / The Washington Post) (John McDonnell / The Washington Post)

In the month and a half that Wilson Ramos was behind the plate last year, it appeared as if the catcher was regressing defensively from his standout 2011 season. One scout called his weakening defensive skills “disappointing” last May.

It’s understandable, given that he had a tumultuous offseason with his kidnapping. And recently, he acknowledged, he wasn’t as dedicated in the past to working out and staying in shape as he should have been, which, in turn, could help prevent injuries.

This spring has been different. Rebounding from his May knee injury and two surgeries, Ramos has been agile and nimble behind the plate. He bounces up to his feet to make throws and onto his knees for balls in the dirt. He has allowed at least one passed ball so far, but one Nationals official has been pleased with his improvement behind the plate.

“For years, I have been working on my defense more than my offense,” Ramos said recently. “I hope to continue, especially since as a catcher your first tool needs to be behind the plate and not your offense. On offense, at the same time, you can’t ignore it. I’m 100 percent focused on both the offense and defense.”

Known more for his hitting and power, Ramos is viewed by the Nationals as a capable defender with a strong arm. He pleased team officials when he showed up to camp slimmer and in better shape, a result of working so diligently on his knee rehab, which can only bode well for a return to form defensively.