Stephen Strasburg: #1 Baseball Prospect of All-Time???
That’s how he’s being touted, and so far Stephen Strasburg is fitting the bill for the San Diego State Aztecs, and the mouths of Washington Nationals scouts are watering. Buster Olney has posed that same question, and he is starting to believe. Keith Law believes he may already be the greatest college pitcher of all time. Olney had a chance to talk about him on Baseball Tonight earlier today, and he said Strasburg could step onto any major league roster and be a #2 starter…Right now. At 20, he is A.J. Burnett…Right now!
At 6’4″ and 220, he has a great pitcher’s build. His fastball can easily reach the mid-90s, and has been clocked at over 100 before. His curveball and change-up are both being advertised as plus pitches. He almost no-hit the Netherlands for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics. And he’s been simply destroying the competition this year for San Diego State. His stat line is almost beyond even video game numbers: 5 starts, 4-0, 1.57 ERA, .172 BAA, 74 strikeouts in 34.1 innings.
I’ll repeat that last part: 74 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. That’s over 2 per inning! It makes you wonder how he’s even allowed a run this season. He also has only walked 7 batters in those same 34 innings, which means he has also shown excellent command. Olney mentioned his fastball movement as the factor that separates him from similar top prospects, in that it has amazing late life for high-90s heat and is not straight by any means.
Check out this highlight video of Strasburg’s complete game shutout from last season in which he struck out an astounding 23 batters. You can tell that his curveball is definitely a plus pitch, with its hard, late break. It looks like we’ll see Strasburg in the majors this year for the Nationals, who hold the #1 overall pick. And for them, he could even be their ace.
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