1) Ryan Zimmerman will be the team MVP.
Dukes and Johnson will get hurt and Dunn and Milledge won't be quite as good.
2) The team's best pitcher will not have thrown a single pitch for the Nats organization in 2008.
It actually hurts me to say that. I am a HUGE John Lannan fan, but for some reason I always feel we're hanging on a thread with him. We can't expect Bally-Star or Zimmermann to have breakout rookie years (as nice as it would be). For some reason, I have high hopes for Daniel Cabrera, Scott Olsen and even J.D. Martin.
3) Joel Hanrahan will not be the closer at the end of the year.
Ok, I may not believe in this one completely. It's done more to provoke thought-what if Hanrahan breaks down or is ineffective? Then we turn to Shawn Hill, the subject of a near-future post that I'm working on.
4) Jesus Flores will not have the breakout year with the bat many of us are expecting.
Flores may very well be my favorite National, but there are just too many holes in his swing that need to be corrected if we want him to go nuts. His BB/K numbers are terrible-29 BB to 126 K in his career-and his contact numbers aren't much better either.
5) Anderson Hernandez will make you yearn for the return of F-Lop.
I touched on this in last night's "Inbox" (I refuse to call it that without quotation marks...it's the mailbag!): too many of you are basing your opinions on Hernandez on his 81 AB trial last season (and his 236 at bats of Winter League ball). He has a track record: 87 bad ML at bats and a minor league track record of 3508 bad at bats. He is not a good hitter. Expect the worst and maybe you'll be pleasantly suprised...but that chance is 10% or lower.
I'm going to add to this list as time goes along. Feel free to discuss in the comments.