The Nationals have more reason for optimism about their future now than they have had in the past couple seasons after several trades and high draft picks have skyrocketed their farm system from bottom dweller to top 10 in baseball. In spite of that, however, the current product on the field leaves a lot to be desired as they currently sit 20 games under .500 and just one game ahead of the Colorado Rockies for the worst record in the National League. While this would normally not be the end of the world, the new draft lottery rules prevent the Nationals from picking in the lottery in back-to-back seasons after they just selected 2nd overall this past MLB Draft. Long story short, they won't be rewarded for their poor finish in the standings.
Those prospects acquired via trade and the draft, while promising, are still at least two years away from debuting for the big league club which leaves plenty of games to be played from now until then. The Nationals will need to address issues with their team this season and beyond if they hope to avoid being a bottom dweller for the next couple seasons and if they hope to expedite their rebuild.
From the farm system to the Major League club, and from the ownership to management, there are plenty of questions the Nationals will need to answer before they hope to return to a legitimate contender with the next great Nationals team.