9 Reasons the Washington Nationals Will Shock the Baseball World in '12

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9 Reasons the Washington Nationals Will Shock the Baseball World in '12
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
The Washington Nationals are the only team in baseaball with a +.500 record against the Phillies this year (10-8)

Like many baseball fans, I love MLB Network. So, Prime 9 has inspired me to give my top nine reasons why the Washington Nationals will shock the baseball world. It might surprise you, but none of my nine reasons include Bryce Harper lighting the world on fire. Now to the rest of my introduction:

The Washington Nationals have been the punching bag of baseball for virtually their entire existence (even including their years in the great white north), but through several years of painful rebuilding, it finally feels like the old, "next year is our year" line can finally hold some water in the nation's capital. 

The Nationals have developed a strong core of young players through the draft and trades. They have netted themselves a plethora of high-ceiling, young players that have a very real chance of being part of the first great Nationals club. The charge is led by Ryan Zimmerman, and includes Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Tyler Clippard, and Drew Storen. There is also the veteran presence of regulars like breakout star Michael Morse and outfielder Jayson Werth.  

Without further ado, my first reason why the Nationals will shock the baseball world in 2012 is...

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