Stephen Strasburg is no longer part of my beat, but I covered him a bit when he was at SDSU. In case you missed it, the right-hander made his big-league debut on Tuesday at home against Pittsburgh. His Nationals beat the Pirates, 5-2. Strasburg’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 14 K. He fanned the final seven batters he faced.
I’ve said my wows in the past, and now it’s time for the rest of the world to wake up and do the same. Yes, it was the Pirates; no, he’s not going to pitch like that every time he takes the mound — these are the best hitters on the planet, and they will make adjustments. That said, anyone who doubted Strasburg’s ability to perform at the big-league level just got slapped hard.
I appreciate dissenting opinions and have a contrarian streak of my own, but when people who had never seen Strasburg pitch assured me he wasn’t as good as the hype suggested, they had no clue. If you need a reminder of why I liked him so much, here are some articles I wrote at Baseball Daily Digest:
- Strasburg Quashes Rebel Attack (March 14, 2009)
- Second Look at Strasburg (March 21, 2009)
- Strasburg Strikes Again (April 4, 2009)
It’s nice that baseball fans around the world finally get to see what we’ve known for a while. This kid is pretty good.
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On a related note, it’s too late this season, but get out and watch some college baseball. There has been some fantastic talent coming through both USD and SDSU in recent years. The Aztecs have produced Strasburg and Cleveland Indians right-hander Justin Masterson, while ex-Torero Brian Matusz pitches for the Baltimore Orioles.
In the recently concluded 2010 draft, USD left-hander Sammy Solis (whose collegiate debut I saw) was taken by the Nationals in the second round; his teammate, right-hander Kyle Blair, went to the Indians in the fourth. The White Sox, meanwhile, popped SDSU right-hander Addison Reed in the third, while the New York Mets took SDSU outfielder Cory Vaughn (son of former Padres slugger Greg Vaughn) in the fourth.
You won’t see another Strasburg, but you will see some good young players that have a chance to move on to the next level. It’ll be cheap and you’ll have a blast.
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Congrats to Strasburg on his fine debut. Here’s to many happy returns. And congrats to Solis, Blair, Reed, Vaughn, and all the rest of the local kids selected in the draft. Best of luck to all!