Top Five Washington Nationals Players to Watch in 2015

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Oct 7, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the 7th inning during game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Picking the top five players to watch for the Washington Nationals should be an easy task, but the Nats have multiple interesting storylines to choose from entering the 2015 season.

We can look at Ryan Zimmerman taking over first base duties from Adam LaRoche. How will he handle the position transfer and will he be able to stay healthy for a full 162 games?

Anthony Rendon may be one of the most underrated players in the league; can he maintain his fantastic output and continue to bolster the middle of the Nats’ lineup?

The Nationals also trot out the best rotation in baseball. Each pitcher in the five-man rotation has a story to tell and is critical for the Nats’ success in 2015.

It is a bit difficult to find any weakness in this Nationals squad, but – if there is any weakness – it is in the depth and power up and down the lineup. I tried to focus my rankings on the key offensive players that need to step up their game to ensure a deep playoff run, which is the only marker of a successful 2015 campaign.

As we all witnessed in 2014, regular season success doesn’t necessarily transfer to postseason glory and the Nationals’ lineup is prone to some wicked cold streaks.

I hoped to pick the players that, more than the rest of the team, need to step up big time this year with a clear focus on the “holes” in the Nationals’ lineup. But there are still some interesting story lines in the pitching staff…starting with number five…

Next: Number 5