Ryan Zimmerman hasn't yet been "that guy" for the Nationals.

Going into the 2012 season, the Washington Nationals may have been one of the more optimistic teams across the league. After having a better than usual year in 2011, they hope to surpass a feat they have yet to grasp: go over the .500 mark at the end of the year. I, for one, have jumped on the bandwagon. But as the first week comes to a close, I begin to ask myself, who is the best player on this team?

The team has veteran manager Davey Johnson for a full season and brings back a ton of breakout stars from the previous year.

First basemen, Michael Morse, was the backbone of their lineup (.303 – 31 – 95). Danny Espinosa was a standout rookie 2nd basemen, who finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting. He definitely needs to get his average up (.236 in 2011) but has the potential to be an all-star in the near-future. If Morse can continue to have stats like that in 2012 it’s a no-brainer he is my choice. But, now being out likely until June, the question is still up in the air.

After signing their first ever draft pick, Ryan Zimmerman, to a long term deal, him and Jayson Werth are now the two $100 million men in the organization. But, I do have to say, neither of these two are my pick.

Zimmerman is, to me, the Derek Jeter of this club. Not to say he has the accolades to be on Jeter’s level, but he isn’t their best player, but he may mean more to the franchise and the city than anyone else on the roster.

Everyone in baseball is excited about the return of Stephen Strasburg and the arrival of phenom Bryce Harper. Strasburg may be the best pitcher on the team but I am looking for that guy in the lineup that stands out from everyone else. Harper can without a doubt be that guy, but like Morse he may not even be on the roster until June. So neither of these two either.

As for their roller coaster of a ride shortstop, Ian Desmond, approached the 2012 season, fans in DC have no idea what to expect out of him. His fielding has been awful at big moments and he has yet to find his way as the leadoff hitter. Fans were looking for that .300 batting average guy with some speed to kick things off at the beginning of each game. They didn’t get Jose Reyes, so Desmond is their guy. But already Desmond is off to a huge start. He is batting .406 and hasn’t committed an error yet in the season. He isn’t my choice either, but he is making a case in this premature season.

So the Nationals have a solid lineup, great pitching staff, good bullpen, and their prospects are some of the best in baseball. They have everything you would want in a team to reach the top. But one thing they don’t have is that one guy. That one guy who you would want more than anyone to be at the plate in a big time situation.

Can Ryan Zimmerman finally be that guy? Can Ian Desmond stay at this level all year? Can Jayson Werth back up that heavy contract? What will Morse and Harper bring to this lineup when they are both finally playing? Who ever it is, the Nationals need someone to maneuver themselves from the good teams to the great teams.