Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stephen Strasburg: Wunderkind or Big Gamble?

This is what you see, as a batter, right before Strasburg throws his high 90's (some say even low-100's) fastball by you or, if you've just seen his fastball, his devastating breaking ball. 

The big question out there right now among baseball minds is this: is Strasburg worth picking #1? The Washington Post came out with a fine article chronicling the very lackluster history of pitchers who have been taken as the #1 pick in drafts since 1965 (when the draft began). To sum up the article's point quickly, 13 teams have chosen a pitcher with their #1 pick, 9 of them were duds, the four who weren't duds: Andy Benes, Tim Belcher, Mike Moore and Floyd Bannister...not exactly a "knock your socks off list." In other words, of the 13 teams who chose a pitcher 1st in the draft, none of them lived up to the hype, not a single one.  In fact, as the Post's article goes on to say, no pitcher taken within the first 5 picks of ANY draft has even become a Hall of Famer...that's 102 pitchers taken within the first 5 picks since 1965 and none of them became a Hall of Famer. I'm sure some of them were decent, but none of them are memorable names. Some are saying Strasburg is the best amatuer they've ever seen and on and on, accolade after accolade, fact of the matter is, he's going against the grain if he is picked early and chances are, he won't buck the trend.

So, a fastball to rival Zumaya (Joel threw the fastest pitch ever recorded, by the way, at 104 m.p.h.), a complimentary breaking ball made more devastating by the speed of the fastball, and all of the potential in the world, but in an opinion I share with others, not a top 5 pick.

Strasburg's last start?
6.0 IP

I'll keep you posted on how he does until draft time.

No comments:

Post a Comment