The Washington Nationals have been the annual laughing stock of Major League Baseball for a few years now. Last season, the Nationals had 102 losses for the MLB's worst record. This season is pretty much lost, as well (16 wins?).
But I believe that in 2013, the Nats will be contenders for the NL East division.
Rayn Zimmerman is by far the best player for the Nationals. He's a great offensive and defensive player, and should be for the next 10-15 years.
Stephen Strasburg was selected first overall in the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Nats. Strasburg should be in the starting rotation and hopefully an ace for the team.
Balester and Clippard are 20-something pitchers that have spent most of their careers in the minors. But by 2013, Clippard and Balester will be behind Strasburg and Zimmermann.
Jordan Zimmermann is the Nationals ace right now. Zimmermann will be 27 in 2013, and likely be pitching right behind Strasburg in the pitching rotation.
I'll be the first one to admit that Joel Hanrahan has been less than satisfactory as the Nats' closer, but I think that he will finally have it figured out by 2013.
Shairon Martis is 5-1 so far in 2009, and I have reason to believe that he will be even better in 2013. Martis will be more experienced, and, if injuries don't hamper him, could be a Cy Young-caliber pitcher.
Elijah Dukes has personal demons. But I think by 2013, the demons will be gone, and he can play to the caliber that he's able to.
Josh Willingham has been a decent hitter with all-right defense, but I think by 2013 Willingham will be among the better players in the league.
Manny Acta. Definently the worse of the two-ever Nationals managers. Acta led them to the worst record in Major League Baseball last season. According to FOXSports.com, Manny Acta could be fired some time today. Thank God.
Bryce Harper. Sports Illustrated calls him 'baseball's chose one'. And Harper's now going to a community college to become eligible for the 2010 MLB draft. And with the way the Nationals are going, they look like they're leading the race for the No. 1 overall pick. And that could be Bryce Harper.