This Washington Nationals roster is considered perhaps the best in franchise history, top to bottom. As the team seeks to not only advance beyond the division series but to the World Series, we take a look back at just how this team was formed.

The current squad has roots in the Nationals’ very first season, when third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was selected fourth overall in the 2005 draft and went on to appear in 20 games. The team stayed bad through 2011 – adding keys players throughout thanks in part to two first overall draft picks – before blossoming into an NL East contender. Here’s how the most important pieces came together.

When the Nationals’ key players joined the team

‘06

‘07

‘08

‘09

‘10

‘11

‘12

‘13

‘14

‘15

‘16

‘05

‘17

81

71

73

59

59

69

80

98

86

96

83

95

97

NATIONALS WINS

Zimmerman, 1B

Taylor, CF

Harper, RF

Werth, OF

Rendon, 3B

Turner, SS

Murphy, 2B

Wieters, C

Strasburg, P

Roark, P

Gonzalez, P

Scherzer, P

Doolittle, CL

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

81

71

73

59

59

69

80

98

86

96

83

95

97

NATIONALS WINS

Zimmerman, 1B

Zimmerman was one of five Nationals All-Stars in 2017

Taylor, CF

Harper, RF

Werth, OF

Rendon, 3B

Turner, SS

Murphy, 2B

Wieters, C

Strasburg, P

Roark, P

Gonzalez, P

Scherzer, P

Doolittle, CL

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

81

71

73

59

59

69

80

98

86

96

83

95

97

NATIONALS WINS

Ryan Zimmerman, 1B

Zimmerman was one of five Nationals All-Stars in 2017

Michael A. Taylor, CF

Bryce Harper, RF

Jayson Werth, OF

Anthony Rendon, 3B

Trea Turner, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

Matt Wieters, C

Stephen Strasburg, P

Tanner Roark, P

Gio Gonzalez, P

Max Scherzer, P

Sean Doolittle, CL

But great teams are a lot deeper than their starters. All in all, there were 44 players that appeared for the Nationals in 2017 and are still part of the organization, although only 25 of them will make the playoff roster.

The timelines below show when each player joined the organization, and how much they’ve played for the Nationals since. We’ve grouped them by how they got to Washington in the first place: through the draft, trades, free agency or international signings.

11 drafted players

Timeline starts the season the player joined the Nationals' organization*, even if they didn't play for the team yet.

Darker colors mean more plate appearances (for batters) or innings pitched (for pitchers).

Hover for more info on each player

2005'05 2006'06 2007'07 2008'08 2009'09 2010'10 2011'11 2012'12 2013'13 2014'14 2015'15 2016'16 2017'17
Ryan ZimmermanZimmerman, 1B 62 PA 682 PA 722 PA 466 PA 694 PA 603 PA 440 PA 641 PA 633 PA 240 PA 390 PA 467 PA 576 PA
Stephen StrasburgStrasburg, P 68 IP 24 IP 159.3 IP 183 IP 215 IP 127.3 IP 147.7 IP 175.3 IP
Michael A. TaylorTaylor, CF 43 PA 511 PA 237 PA 432 PA
Bryce HarperHarper, RF 597 PA 497 PA 395 PA 654 PA 627 PA 492 PA
Matt GraceGrace, P 17 IP 3 IP 50 IP
Sammy SolisSolis, P 21.3 IP 41 IP 26 IP
Anthony RendonRendon, 3B 394 PA 683 PA 355 PA 647 PA 605 PA
Brian GoodwinGoodwin, OF 44 PA 278 PA
Erick FeddeFedde, P 15.3 IP
Andrew StevensonStevenson, OF 66 PA
Koda GloverGlover, P 19.7 IP 19.3 IP

15 players received in trades

2005'05 2006'06 2007'07 2008'08 2009'09 2010'10 2011'11 2012'12 2013'13 2014'14 2015'15 2016'16 2017'17
Tanner RoarkRoark, P 53.7 IP 198.7 IP 111 IP 210 IP 181.3 IP
Gio GonzalezGonzalez, P 199.3 IP 195.7 IP 158.7 IP 175.7 IP 177.3 IP 201 IP
A.J. ColeCole, P 9.3 IP 38.3 IP 52 IP
Jose LobatonLobaton, C 230 PA 155 PA 114 PA 158 PA
Trea TurnerTurner, SS 44 PA 324 PA 447 PA
Joe RossRoss, P 76.7 IP 105 IP 73.7 IP
Trevor GottGott, P 6 IP 3 IP
Howie KendrickKendrick, IF/OF 178 PA
Enny RomeroRomero, P 55.7 IP
Adam EatonEaton, OF 107 PA
Sean DoolittleDoolittle, P 30 IP
Brandon KintzlerKintzler, P 26 IP
Ryan RaburnRaburn, OF 69 PA
Ryan MadsonMadson, P 19.7 IP
Austin AdamsAdams, P 5 IP

12 players signed as free agents

2005'05 2006'06 2007'07 2008'08 2009'09 2010'10 2011'11 2012'12 2013'13 2014'14 2015'15 2016'16 2017'17
Jayson WerthWerth, OF 649 PA 344 PA 532 PA 629 PA 378 PA 606 PA 289 PA
Max ScherzerScherzer, P 228.7 IP 228.3 IP 200.7 IP
Daniel MurphyMurphy, 2B 582 PA 593 PA
Oliver PerezPerez, P 40 IP 33 IP
Shawn KelleyKelley, P 58 IP 26 IP
Matt WietersWieters, C 465 PA
Adam LindLind, 1B/LF 301 PA
Edwin JacksonJackson, P 71 IP
Matt AlbersAlbers, P 61 IP
Joe BlantonBlanton, P 44.3 IP
Stephen DrewDrew, IF/OF 106 PA
Alejandro De AzaDe Aza, OF 70 PA

Six players signed from overseas

2005'05 2006'06 2007'07 2008'08 2009'09 2010'10 2011'11 2012'12 2013'13 2014'14 2015'15 2016'16 2017'17
Adrian SanchezSanchez, IF/OF 75 PA
Wilmer DifoDifo, IF/OF 11 PA 66 PA 365 PA
Pedro SeverinoSeverino, C 4 PA 34 PA 31 PA
Rafael BautistaBautista, OF 27 PA
Raudy ReadRead, C 11 PA
Victor RoblesRobles, OF 27 PA

About this story

*Most recently. Two players, Edwin Jackson and A.J. Cole, were part of the Nationals organization, left, and then returned as part of a trade or signing. Only their second stint is included in the timelines.

Appearance and transaction data from Baseball-Reference.com.

Player photos by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post, Mitchell Layton/Getty Images, Katherine Frey/The Washington Post, Mark Tenally/AP, John McDonnell/The Washington Post, Bill Kostroun/AP, Lynne Sladky/AP, Eliot J. Schechter/MLB, Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post, Nick Wass/AP, Patrick McDermott/Getty, Mike Zarrilli/Getty, Daniel Shirey/Getty, Patrick McDermott/USA Today, Geoff Burke/USA Today, Jonathan Ernst/FTPW, Julio Cortez/AP, and Wilfredo Lee/AP.

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