Drew Storen didn’t waste any time signing with the Nationals. It took less then a day to reach an agreement. The day after Storen was drafted, he sported a Nationals #26 jersey and hat–with a flat bill of course–the same way former Nats closer Chad Cordero wore it. The similarities don’t stop there. Storen met Cordero in 2003 when he was the bat boy for the visiting Montreal Expos in Cincinnati. Cordero was the 20th overall pick in 2003 and was in the Majors by the end of August. Storen was the 10th overall pick and could also make it to the Majors quickly.
“Ever since I met him, he was a guy I always looked up to,” said Storen at his first Nationals press conference. “I just started talking to him and he was talking about pitching in the College World Series and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. That made me want to start closing and, my last year at Stanford, I kind of really put that as my goal.”
Storen begins his Minor League career tomorrow with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns. More comments from his first Nationals press conference.
On potentially pitching in the Majors this season:
“I’m excited but I also know, at the same time, that my performance dictates whether that happens. I’m excited to get out there and hopefully prove to them that I am worthy of that and I would love to help the Nationals win on a Big League level.”
“I just want to get going… My arm is feeling great and I want to get going and really get that chance to help the Nationals win this year.”
On why he likes the closer’s role:
“I like being the big winner or the big loser. I like being the guy that’s responsible for what happens and it’s something I really enjoyed doing at Stanford and I’m really happy that I’m going to be able to carry that on.”
On the draft rollercoaster:
“It’s been a crazy ride. I mean, coming out last week and seeing the stadium and being able to throw in this beautiful new ballpark was just a great experience in itself. Then yesterday, not being sure what was going to happen and hearing my name called was an experience like none other. I don’t think anything could top it unless maybe winning the World Series.”
The Nats get a break from the NL East for the next 15 games. They begin Interleague play tonight against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Washington is 37-38 in Interleague games and 2-1 against the Rays since relocating to DC in 2005. RHP Craig Stammen is seeking his first Major League victory.
The pitchers will get a break from the batter’s box this weekend. The Nationals will use the designated hitter for the first time this season. Here’s a look at the current Nationals who have experience serving as the DH during their careers:
BATTER AB R H HR RBI AVG
Nick Johnson 294 50 77 12 46 .262
Elijah Dukes 36 5 7 2 6 .194
Adam Dunn 36 8 10 3 5 .278
Josh Willingham 20 3 5 0 3 .250
Willie Harris 8 2 1 0 1 .125
Ryan Zimmerman 5 0 0 0 0 .000
Josh Bard 4 1 0 0 0 .000
Ronnie Belliard 4 1 1 1 1 .250
Cristian Guzman 1 0 0 0 0 .000