The Washington Nationals came up short in this year’s NLDS, but fans are embracing a new winning culture and should hold high expectations for 2013.
What we’re seeing in these Nationals is a team that’s successfully gone through the process of rebuilding. Like the Astros, Cubs and Royals of this year, the Nationals of three years ago were abysmal, posting a record of 69-93.
Few teams in history have been able to go from a 93 loss team to a 98 win team in a span of three years.
Through a few key draft picks and come-from-behind victories, the Nationals transformed their team. In three years, their staff went from a 4.13 total ERA to a 3.33, ranking second in baseball. Their offense improved as well, scoring 76 more runs than they did in 2010.
The Nationals didn’t go out and spend, spend, spend to get immediate results. They built their squad from the ground up, making free agent moves to fit their philosophy rather than carry the team.
Next season, the Nats have more to prove. As part of a team that came an inning away from a NLCS berth, Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Gio Gonzalez are looking to make a statement in 2013.
Here are five reasons Nationals fans should look forward to next season.