When talking about the Washington Nationals, there is a tendency to look at the team and wonder, “what went wrong this season? Why was this team that won 98 games en route to the NL East crown not even in the playoffs this year?”
What is all too often forgotten about the Nationals is how young the team really is. The youth has helped the team post back-to-back winning seasons, but it has also been a reason why they aren’t back in the playoffs this season. The 2014 version of the Nationals will be a year older and a year wiser, with plenty of lofty goals. Their focus will be getting back to the playoffs and winning another NL East crown.
The Nationals are a very young team and a quick look at the players under the age of 30 proves that this team has the talent to be around for a long time as contenders:
First base – Adam LaRoche – age 33
Second base – Anthony Rendon – age 23
Third base – Ryan Zimmerman – age 27
Shortstop – Ian Desmond – age 27
Left fielder – Bryce Harper – age 20
Center field – Denard Span – age 29
Right field – Jason Werth – age 33
Catcher – Wilson Ramos – age 25
Stephen Strasburg – age 25
Gio Gonzalez – age 25
Jordan Zimmermann – age 27
Ross Detwiler – age 27
Taylor Jordan – age 24
Tanner Roark – age 26
We have not even begun to talk about the many under-30 guys who are either on the bench or waiting their chance to join the Nationals soon like Tyler Moore, Jeff Kobernus, Eury Perez or Corey Brown. The Nationals are also loaded with talented young arms down on the farm, just waiting for a spot on the big club to open up.
The lessons learned by not making the postseason are painful, but most of all productive. Rest assured that come spring training 2014, the Nationals will be a wiser and more driven bunch knowing they have the talent to get back to the playoffs and win another NL East crown.