At this time last year, the Nats were 73-45 and owned a lead of 4.5 games over the Braves for first in the division while boasting the best record in baseball.
Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth recently talked to Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com about the state of the team, saying the Nats are still in a developmental stage:
So it kind of put things in perspective with the success last year and really where we are at now with the guys. We are still in a building phase. I know with all the expectations it doesn't really seem like that. We got a lot of young players. The direction is still good. We got a lot of talent. There is a lot of things to look forward to here in Washington.
One reason that Werth is so confident about the Nationals' future is due to the progress of the organization's top prospects.
Here is an evaluation of the development of the Washington Nationals' top five prospects.