For the Washington Nationals, the future is now.
A wave of homegrown talent led by Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann has improved, matured and finally made their postseason debuts. Now, this group can realistically contend for a World Series title, as early as this season.
But there is a new crop of young stars right behind them. Players such as Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon hope to keep this team well above .500 for years to come.
Here is a ranking of nine of the Nationals' young players, in ascending order according to their potential for success. To appear on this list, each player must be less than 25 years old as of today, and must be on the Washington Nationals' 40-man roster.
Some of the players on this list will not begin the 2013 MLB season with the Washington Nationals, but with inclusion on the 40-man roster, they can be called up at any time.