A year in the life of two 2009 Nats First Round Draft Picks
A year ago, Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg were living the college life: attending classes, eating in the dining hall and partaking in the occasional Fraternity soirée. A year later, Storen is a key member of the Nats’ best bullpen in years and Strasburg is on the verge of making his highly anticipated Major League debut.
In the past year, the two neophyte Nats have experienced Draft Day ’09, record-setting contracts, a marriage and stops in Woodbridge, Va., Hagerstown, Md., Phoenix, Ariz., Viera, Fla., Harrisburg, Pa., Syracuse, N.Y. and finally, Washington, DC. It’s been a whirlwind tour, but neither hurler would change a thing.
At this point last year, Storen was wrapping up his sophomore year at Stanford University. He had pitched his last game as a member of the Cardinal baseball team and was preparing for finals.
“May 25 was my last outing in college and that was kind of the big one where a lot of people from the Nats were there,” Storen said. “It seems like just yesterday but it also seems like so long ago at the same time. It’s kind of crazy.”
Just a few days later, his life was turned upside down when the Nationals selected him with the 10th overall pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Storen signed his rookie contract the next day and was off to Single-A Hagerstown to begin his pro career.
“For me that was the right thing to do–sign quickly,” Storen said. “From college it was–’if I get the opportunity to sign, I’m going to go quick,’–because my goal was to make the Big Leagues last year. And I wanted to really try to get there quick and move. Doing that for me was signing and putting in my time and getting that experience.”
Storen dominated Minor League baseball last year, compiling 11 saves and a 1.95 ERA over 37.0 innings. He graduated through three levels of the Minors but never received that September Big League call-up that he so desperately wanted.” Being able to have those three or four months from last year, being able to build off of that coming into Spring Training, knowing what I need to do to face professional hitters, to handle the professional lifestyle was huge,” Storen said.
To read the entire story, pick up the latest edition of Inside Pitch at Nationals Park.