Stephen Strasburg Bio

Stephen Strasburg Bio

Even before his 23 strikeout performance, San Diego State’s RHP Stephen Strasburg was the consensus pick to go #1 in the 2009 MLB draft. Consider this: as of March 22nd, Strasburg is 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts, and has racked up 74 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings – more than 55 percent of the batters he’s faced. He’s walked just seven batters and has yielded just 21 hits.  His K:BB ratio is 74:7. Incredible.

So who is this guy and if he is so good why wasn’t he drafted out of high school?  Currently Strasburg is listed at 6’4″ and 220 lbs.  In high school, he was slightly shorter and about 50-60 lbs. heavier. His fastball barely touched 90 mph.  San Diego pitching coach Rusty Filter saw something in him and insisted on having him in camp.  In his freshman season, Filter but Strasburg on a conditioning regimen that included hot yoga and as a result, Strasburg shed 30 lbs.  Not only that, his velocity began to creep up.  By the time he was a sophomore, his fastball was consistently clocked at 97-99 mph with occasional touches of 100 and 101.  Strasburg also possesses a plus-plus-plus slider at 81-84mph.  He has a plus change that he uses infrequently and a plus curve in the 70s.

On April 11 against the University of Utah, Strasburg took the mound and walked off it nine innings later having set San Diego State and Mountain West Conference records with 23 strikeouts.

It is estimated that a pick of Strasburg will cost a team between $10-$12 million dollars.  Considering that Washington has the first pick, it will be interesting to see what they do after messing up their negotiations with Aaron Crow last year for monetary reasons. Would they do it twice in a row? Not likely, yet the franchise is in shambles and is the laughingstock of MLB.  It is an interesting scenario however, since the pitching thin Washington Nationals may welcome Strasburg to their starting rotation as early as the latter part of 2009.

Update:  March 20th Strasburg touched triple digits on college beat reporter Kirk Kenney’s gun, and hit 99 on Keith Law’s gun (who’s never had his gun read higher than 98 – ever).  Buster Olney spoke with a scout who said that right now, Strasburg is better than AJ Burnett.

…and this just in from the Globe & Mail’s Jeff Blair:

Sports agent Scott Boras has let people know that client Stephen Strasburg, the San Diego State University pitcher who is considered the consensus top pick in the June baseball draft, will ask for a six-year contract worth upward of $45-million (U.S.). If he doesn’t get it, he will pitch in Japan.

 

 

Here is a clip of Strasburg pitching on March 5th, 2009. Notice the pace at which he works and the sick wicked and nasty breaking pitch at 0:30.

[youtube womWN-SsNJ0]

And, of course, his 23 strikeout game.

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  • One plus for Strasburg is that he’ll get a major league contract, which lowers the chances that the Nationals will try to work his arbitration clock.

    Looks like a stud. From his YouTube video’s he will need to work on getting the ball down in the zone. As we all remember from the Billy Koch days, it doesn’t matter how hard you throw if its up in the consistently up in the zone. Of course Stras appears to have more movement on his fastball.

    After reading about his 23 strikeout game is there any info on his regular pitch counts? He had to be well over 100 pitches in the 23 K game and possibly in others.

    In your opinion has anyone been more hyped pre-draft in the past 10 years than Strasburg?

  • I know he consistently has pitch counts in the 100’s. I think he went 116 last game. The most similar pitcher I can think of hype-wise (and incidentally, pitch count wise) is Mark Prior, and we know what happened to him. I always am concerned with these fireball pitchers who touch 99/100 because their shelf life is extremely limited. Koch for example, Mike MacDougall (I think was his name), Zumaya. You never know how many years you get out of them. Nolan Ryan is of course the exception. If you are Washington, do you man up and give Strasburg the rumoured 25-45 mil even though you don’t know how many years you will get out of him?

  • I could see the MLB getting on Washington about signing a big contract. They hate when teams go over slot. The Nats may have to at least triple and probably more for the #1 overall slot.

    In a perfect world I’d probably give him the money. Dice-K is a good measuring stick with his slot and salary cost. Strasburg should be a relative bargain in comparison.

  • The asnwer is yes, you do give him the rumored money. Vs. Team Cuba, he pitched in comparison better than Clemens and Pettite when they pitched, clearly has more velocity, and judging by his kk:bb rate, his got command. Why is A.J. Burnett his current value? I conquer with what others are saying, that he reminds them of Mark Prior, but he has slightly more speed, as he has touched 103 mph before. That being said, Burnett has never been as good as Prior was his rookie season. The onlly concern is how well they handle his arm and make sure he doesnt have 240 ip. (Cough, Dusty.)

  • Here’s a nice little story as told by Buster Olney today:

    Eddie Bane, (director of scouting for the Angels) is one of 20 players who went straight to the majors after being picked in 1973. Bane came right up out of Arizona State after going 40-4 with a 1.64 ERA for the Sun Devils.

    In 2004, Bane negotiated with Scott Boras over another highly touted amateur, Jered Weaver — and of course, Boras advises Strasburg now. “When we drafted Jered Weaver,” Bane told Kirk Kenny, “Scott (Boras) sent a letter to the Angels explaining why he wanted all the money for Jered Weaver because he posted Prior stats and Weaver’s stats (as a comparison).

    “I sent him a letter back and said, ‘Here’s my stats. I was better than both those guys, but I won seven games in the big leagues.’ “We’re certainly looking for more wins than that.”

  • The GM of the Nats was recently quoted as saying that Strasburg will see time in the minors. So maybe we shouldn’t expect to see him up with the team until September?

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