Five Things for the Washington Nationals to Look Forward to in 2009
1. Light Tower Power of Adam Dunn
It's been a while since the Nationals had a legitimate power hitter of Adam Dunn's caliber. Actually, the Nationals have never had a power hitter in general, so I'm sure Nationals' fans will love Dunn's epic moon balls traveling in excess of 400 feet.
The modern-day Dave Kingman has come to Washington.
2. Do you believe in Jesus?
Jesus Flores, that is. Somehow the Nationals managed to steal Flores from the Mets in the Rule Five draft two years ago, and now Flores is the Nationals' starting catcher. Flores showed signs of life in 2008 at the dish by leading the Nationals in RBI through August, but an ankle injury prematurely ended his season.
Plate discipline is a major question mark for the young Flores, but he is a good, young catcher, which is a rarity in the majors.
3. The return of Ryan Zimmerman
The face of the franchise is coming off an injury-plagued 2008 season and needs to stay healthy in 2009. Zimmerman has a world of potential, and many people have forgotten just how good this guy really is.
Look for Zimmerman to take off this season, especially with the addition of Adam Dunn and the maturation of Lastings Milledge.
4. The development of Lastings Milledge
Speaking of Milledge, after getting off to a rough start in 2008, he turned it around in the second half in a big way, hitting .299 with seven homers and 11 stolen bases while improving his on-base percentage to a respectable .355 in the final half of the season.
Milledge has the potential to be something special in this league with his tremendous combination of speed, power and quick wrists. However, Milledge needs to remain patient at the dish and take advantage of his opportunities.
Hopefully Nats fans will be exposed to more classic Milledge moments...just like this one.
5. The president's race
Who doesn't want to see four of our nation's greatest presidents in mascot form, running around with over-sized heads for our amusement? ...Count me in!
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