Taking a peek ahead

The significance of the two biggest additions in the Nationals’ brief history - Bryce Harper going No. 1 overall on Monday, followed by Stephen Strasburg’s debut on Tuesday - drove home an unmistakable point: These are the dividends of futility, and the promise of a better future.

Provided they can sign Harper, the Nationals will have the two most touted prospects in a generation, possibly ever. That doesn’t mean they’re the two best, but in the final hours before either of them has played a major league game, Nationals fans have the right to dream.

So let’s do that for a minute. If everything goes according to plan, here’s how the Nationals could look in 2013:

CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
RF Bryce Harper
LF Josh Willingham
C Derek Norris
2B Danny Espinosa

RHP Stephen Strasburg
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
LHP Ross Detwiler
LHP John Lannan
RHP Brad Meyers

Closer Drew Storen

Now, all that assumes a few things: The Nats extend Dunn, keep Willingham and Morgan and don’t bring in another front-line starter from outside. It also assumes Zimmermann comes back healthy, and a handful of prospects pan out. But it’s a pretty formidable lineup if everything goes to plan.

Any thoughts on a different lineup? Post them here, and as Aerosmith brilliantly put it, dream on...