Next Tuesday the most exciting draft in sports hits us like a hangover poop at 8:15 AM: suddenly and explosively. Most of the explosion this year will be coming from your soon-to-be most dominant pitcher in DC: Stephen Strasburg.
If you're unfamiliar with the guy, he can be summed up thusly: "He may be the best pitcher in the world." He throws some high-90s cheese, and also, this: "His breaking ball is a plus-plus slider with two plane break that's virtually unhittable." Pretty awesome considering he used to be plus-plus pants size. He was a walk-on at San Diego State, and with Head Coach Tony Gwynn mentoring him has developed into the second coming. Always heartwarming when pimple-faced fatsos become athletic studs.
L to R: Stephen Strasburg's Mother, Aunt, Senior Prom Date, and
Stephen Strasburg at age 17. [image via Colonel Robert Neville]
Mostly I can't be bothered to like the Nats, though I'm trying my damndest, and the prospect of rooting for this flame-throwing Aztec certainly intrigues me. A source within the Nats organization denied that the drafting and signing of Strasburg is a done deal (he wants $50 million - gangsta) which means it's definitely a done deal. CBS Sportsline already labeled him a Nat. That makes it official, right?
We talk a lot about hope around here, and any time you can add a once-in-a-generation ace, it can change the course of an entire franchise. But I'll believe it when I see it. His arm looks like a rubber dildo of death in the above video, and I'm no Doctor James Andrews but that can't be natural.
Whether some over-ambitious minor-league coach gets his hands on him and/or a desperate Manny Acta totally screws it up by overpitching the kid remains to be seen. Here's hoping he's the next Nolan Ryan and not the next Mark Prior.