Strasburg Should Go Straight to Majors

March 31, 2009 at 1:00 am 2 comments

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(photo by: San Diego State Athletics)

If you haven’t heard of San Diego State right hander Stephen Strasburg yet then you haven’t been paying attention to baseball. He is the topic of conversation in scouting circles and in the Washington Nationals front office; not to mention the many articles about his MPH readings on stadium guns (which are exaggerated). Come June, when the Rule-IV draft takes place, the Nationals hold the golden ticket that could land them potentially the best college arm of all-time. Oh, and he should be starting games in Washington this very summer.

There have been rumors out there ranging from probable to ridiculous about what Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras, will demand. I’ve seen a $15M bonus with a major league contract, I’ve seen a 5-year $25M major league contract, and a 6-year $50M major league contract. There is also concern from Peter Gammons that if Strasburg is selected and does not like the offer, Boras could send him to Japan for a year.

It doesn’t matter what Boras demands; the Nationals must draft Strasburg. They let Aaron Crow walk last year over bonus demands so they also have the 10th overall pick in this draft and some wonder if the Nationals can afford the bonus on both picks.

I don’t think it is a matter of “if they can afford” but a matter of “they can’t afford not to afford” Strasburg. Some argue that no one is worth the kind of money Strasburg is likely to get and a Washington area columnist hates the idea of drafting Strasburg. He cites that there has never been a #1 overall pick as a pitcher that has gone on to be an elite player, let alone a Hall-of-Famer. That type of thinking is just ridiculous.

Strasburg’s stats on the season are unheard of. He is 5-0 in 6 starts with a 1.70 ERA spanning 42.1 innings that includes 88 strikeouts and only 8 walks and 24 hits allowed. He gets about 70% of his outs on his own. The defense gets to rest. His only no-decision was arguably his best outing when he went 7 innings and allowed only 2 hits and 2 walks with 15 strikeouts and no runs allowed. It was his only game with no runs allowed. In his college career he has only surrendered three homers.

Strasburg has nothing left to project. His fastball is plus-plus, sitting at 94-98 and touching triple digits on occasion. His slider is plus and his command and control are well above average. There is nothing left for him to learn in the minors. The Washington Nationals need to do themselves and their fans a favor and take Strasburg with the first pick in the draft and get him on their home mound for his major league debut shortly after he signs.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matthew Mitchell  |  April 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I would have to agree with you. nothing helps a ball club like a great pitcher. and if the nationals dont pick him up i hope the Rays do! although his signing bonus is probably the whole budget for the next year, based off that them dang yanks would get em! id rather see him go to Japan then wear those stripes! he would just be wasting years on his arm if he goes to the minors. the only reason i could see him doing that for would MAYBE be so he could get some upper level experience so hes not overwhelmed goin into the majors, as in other sports, Basketball and Football there are a handful of exceptional players that go strait into the pros and they simply dont produce like in college. i think its partly due to the shock and intimidation of the pros. and a few that their bodies still just arent ready. so those are certianly issues to adress… what do you think?

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  April 2, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Well, the only way the Rays or Yanks could get him is if he fell to them in the draft, but that won’t happen because he would have to get pass 30 picks to reach the Rays and over 20 to reach the Yanks.

    Baseball, more so than basketball and football, is a skill sport and the players need the time to refine thier skills in the minors because the jump to the big legues is more drastic in baseball than an any other sport.

    Reply

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