Washington NationalsManager: Matt Williams
Stadium: Nationals Park
2008 Record: 59-102 (5th in NL East)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule
-- Tim Kurkjian
HITTER TO WATCH:
Nobody. Justin Maxwell is the only semi-prospect position player close to the majors, but the Nationals already have a surfeit of outfield suspects.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Fifth starter Jordan Zimmermann is a four-pitch right-hander with good command and feel for pitching who saw his velocity tick upward a bit in spring training.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Is Ryan Zimmerman the National League's best third baseman? Is Adam Dunn the best power-hitting left fielder in the NL? Register your vote.
Elijah Dukes put up very interesting fantasy stats in barely half a season last year, but as he enters his third season, there are signs of maturity in his ability and his demeanor. Dukes could be a 20/20 guy if he plays enough, and we're thinking he'll emerge in this pivotal campaign.
Cristian Guzman, the team's lone All-Star in 2008, is a fine player who has resurrected his career, but presuming he hits .316 again is a bit optimistic. Guzman isn't a great fantasy option otherwise, with little power and speed, so assuming some batting average regression, he's not draftable in standard 10-team leagues.
-- Eric Karabell
INJURY TO WATCH
After missing more than a full year with a slow-to-heal leg injury, Nick Johnson made an emotional comeback in 2008, only to exit in June with a wrist injury. Johnson underwent surgery to address a ligament injury in his right (non-throwing) wrist and spent the remainder of the offseason rehabbing and retooling his swing under the watchful eye of Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein. Johnson has shown that his swing is healthy this spring; if his body can hold up its end of the bargain in 2009, the Nationals could be in for a treat.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS
No. 29 overall
No. 29 overall
No. 27 overall
No. 26 overall
No. 28 overall