Nats Sign Strasburg
It’s official! The No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg is a member of the Washington Nationals organization. With less than two minutes before the midnight deadline–11:58 and 43 seconds–the two sides agreed to the terms.
“People thought it would take until the last minute,” President Stan Kasten said. “We didn’t even need that last minute.”
The 20-year-old Strasburg–who stands 6-foot-4, 220 lbs and hails from San Diego–went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State en route to earning the Golden Spikes Award. He struck out 195 batters with just 19 walks in 109 innings. Strasburg’s best game came on May 8th when he threw his first career no-hitter and struck out 17 batters against Air Force. He struck out 23 batters against the University of Utah at Tony Gwynn Stadium on April 11, 2008.
“The reason he signed is because he wants to pitch in the Big Leagues, and he wants to be a Washington National,” Interim General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He wants to win a Cy Young Award and championships in D.C. That’s the reason he signed with us here. Money was a nice perk, a nice by-product for him, but he is here to pitch. He is champing at the bit to get on the mound. I think he was getting a little tired being around the house.”
In three collegiate seasons, Strasburg went 22-7 with seven saves and a 1.59 ERA (43 ER/243.1 IP) in 52 games for San Diego State. He was San Diego State’s closer as a freshman and their top starter each of the last two years. In three seasons at SDSU, he was twice named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year, and in 2007, he was named MWC Co-Freshman of the Year.
Stephen Strasburg joins pitcher Drew Storen, the other Nat’s Top-10 draft choice in 2009, as the newest members of what the Nats believe is one of the most interesting and deepest staffs of young pitching prospects in all of baseball. John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen, J.D. Martin, Ross Detwiler, Garrett Mock, Collin Balester, Shairon Martis, Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and now Strasburg and Storen, along with a group of other young Minor League talents, represent an intimidating rotation for the Nationals for years to come.
“We are proud to have him in the organization,” Rizzo said. “We are happy to add him to a growing list of young starting pitchers. It’s a big day for the Washington Nationals. It’s a big day for the fans of Washington, DC.”