Wow. Just wow. What a fun time to be a Washington Nationals fan. Ya think maybe he didn't need 55 innings in the minors?
And aren't you glad they didn't do what Boswell wanted? Remember this column?
How about this chat?
It's too bad Stephen Strasburg is a pitcher. Otherwise, he might be worth a record-shattering amount of money for a No. 1 overall draft pick. But he's a pitcher. So, he isn't...
History is unequivocal. Strasburg, no matter how much he dominates college hitters, will probably either be a .500 pitcher with a 150-150 record, or he'll be a bust...
The history of baseball's draft since it began in 1965 is unmistakable. You can project exceptional hitters with about a 50 percent success rate. You can't project No. 1 overall pitchers at all...Nobody -- n-o-b-o-d-y -- has used a No. 1 overall pick on a pitcher and been glad they did it...
Hitters pan out -- almost half the time. Pitchers flop or at best disappoint given their hype. He's supposedly been clocked at 99 to 102 mph. When I saw him at the Olympics in Beijing from 100 feet away, he was throwing 93 to 97. It was the end of a long season for him, so maybe his velocity was down. But none of Cuba's hitters was overmatched by his fastball. Only his breaking ball, a fine one, locked anybody up as he allowed five hits, two runs and a homer in four innings. The odds say he's more likely to be Ben McDonald (78-70) than Walter Johnson...
Pitching phenoms were born to break your heart. That's bad enough. Don't let them break the bank, too.
Silver Spring, Md.: Mr. No. 1 pick Price was just sent down to the minors by Tampa. Strassburg is an exceptional college pitcher, but has no track record except in the Olympics where he was so-so against professional athletes. He is not worth any thing more than Price in these economic times. So - who is/are the hitters the Nats should draft?
Tom Boswell: I'm a bit concerned that, when he came to San Diego State, DStarsburg had to lose a lot of wieght. It's said that he gets rattled a bit when he gets hit, gets angry. Of course, that doesn't happen much. His command is exceptional because, in high school. he only threw 88 and needed control. However, Ben McDonald's command was phenomenal when he arrived __right up until he started getting hit. Then he tried to be even "finer than fine."
The Nats like (among others, and in no particular order): SS Grant Green (USC), 1st Dustin Ackley (UNC) and (P) Mike Minor (Vandy). There are others, of course. I'll get around to them. They also have the No. 10 overall pick. Everybody focuses on Green and Ackley. Not a surprise.
Sec 114, Row E: Bos, good thoughts on Strasburg and the 1st overall picks.
But, can the Nats afford NOT to pick him? After last year's fiasco with Crowe - whomever you want to blame, it still was a fiasco.
Can the Nats afford one more bad PR move? If the Nats passed on Strasburg because of "signability" they would get a nationwide beating from everyone with a keyboard - from the lowliest blogger to the esteemed writers at major newspapers?
Tom Boswell: Boras may assume that the Crowe mess will be a factor. And it may cost the Nats an extra million at the 11th hour. But Strasburg is a What To Have, not a Must Have pick __because he is a pitcher. And all pitching phenoms, as I said, are meant to break your heart. Granted, college p;itchers are slightly less likely to blow up in your face. But NONE of the 102 in the top five have been HOFers! Hello...
Remember '91 when Kasten ran the Braves? Sports Illustrated ran a cover story on Todd Van Poppel (Spelling?), a high schooler. (And SI is now working on a big Strasburg piece.)
The Braves passed on Van Poppel (who went No. 2 and was a flop) and took...Chipper Jones, instead.
Alexandria, VA: Drafting a pitcher is always a gamble but in this case it's a gamble the Nationals have to take.
Joe Mauer was a viable option for the Twins in the year Prior was drafted. Ackley and Green are not in the same class as Strasburg when it comes to talent.
Tom Boswell: This same argument __"EVERYBODY KNOWS that one is vastly better"__ is based on the same herd-think nonsense that we see every day on Wall Street where the hot-stock, cold-stock debate is conducted at full-scream level every day. It is called "market noise.