30 Players in 30 Days: Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg


strasburg 100 c.jpgThere has never been a draft pick as highly anticipated as Stephen Strasburg. The No. 1 overall pick by the Nationals has a blazing fastball and solid mechanics. Though his contract negotiations went down to the wire, causing a lot of Nationals fans to worry, he ended up signing a four year, $15.1 million contract, the largest ever for a draft pick. Strasburg made his professional debut playing in the Arizona Fall League for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, along with fellow Nats Drew Storen, Jeff Mandel, Danny Espinosa, Sean Rooney, Josh Wilkie and Chris Marrero.

Strasburg was not drafted out of high school. He joined the San Diego State University baseball team overweight and out of shape. Yet something inside of him clicked and he changed all that. In the last three years he worked hard to lose the weight and work on his pitching, increasing his fastball from 89 mph to 102 mph. Strasburg finished up his college career with a 13-1 record, a 1.32 ERA, 59 hits allowed, 19 walks and 195 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched. He even pitched a no-hitter against Air Force on May 8, 2009.

Strasburg also got a taste for the big stage while he was in college. He was the only college player selected to be a member of the 2008 Olympic team in Beijing. During the competition, he pitched against the Netherlands and current Nationals teammate Shairon Martis. Strasburg won that game, but lost against Cuba in his next start. Overall he finished 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA and a Bronze medal.

While his professional career is still young, Strasburg is living up to the hype. Throughout the AFL he hit 100 mph on the radar gun. His change-up clocked in at 90 mph making it brutal for batters to face him. Scouts commend him for the ease at which Strasburg pitches. He doesn’t have to rear back and expend a lot of effort to hit three digits on the radar gun; he maintains his posture and form while pitching hard.

As a young pitcher, Strasburg still has things to work on, such as his location and getting used to pitching against better talent. While he will not single-handedly turn the Nationals around in 2010, he has the skill and drive to make it in the Big Leagues and will be exciting to watch in the future.

 

Stephen Strasburg Final AFL  Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HB

BB

SO

WHIP

4

1

4.26

5/5

0

19.0

15

10

9

3

0

7

23

1.16

 

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