Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Think Boz Still Wishes they'd Drafted Grant Green?

The best pitcher on the planet (yep, I'm sayin' it, Halladay included) just struck out his last seven straight. Major League hitters looked as overmatched as the Dutch batters I saw him blow away the first time I saw him pitch.

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?

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.
How about this chat?
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.


Scott C. said...

We just got to watch that absurdly spectacular performance, and you use your post to take an extended shot at Boswell? This was the biggest baseball event in DC since the 1933 World Series, and it surpassed the immense hype. No thoughts on the game or on Strasburg? It's your blog, but that was a disappointing choice.

mike said...

The irony of this post is killing me. How about you admit that you were completely wrong on the Willingham/Olsen deal. Remember 3 improving players for 2 declining players? They don't look like they are declining to me. JimBo absolutely raped the Marlins. Remember how you were hyping up Jake Smolinski being the 25th best prospect in a "strong" system? The guy is nowhere near worth having an above average lefty and one of the best hitting OF in baseball. Why don't you admit that you were wrong implying that Olsen was injury prone for the last 4 seasons when in fact it was just the last 2 seasons. How about a post giving JimBo credit for picking up a lot of the players that are the core of this team (Zim, Dunn, Willingham, Lannan, Olsen, Clippard, etc).

Steven said...

I went back and read that post expecting to have to issue some big mea culpa, but I kinda think it's a pretty smart, well reasoned post, even tempered post. Headlines are headlines. You try to grab people. but the body of the post I'm pretty proud of. Willingham has been better than I and a lot of other people expected, for sure. I'm skeptical whether that's really that he was better or that we've just been fortunate to see his hottest hot streaks in the season and a third since he came. But I'm glad to say I was wrong about that. But I certainly wasn't wrong about Olsen--or Jim Bowden for that matter--and Smolinski still has a shot. But the overall analysis I think was fairly sound in it's critique of the process that went into that deal.

Other people can go back and look at it here if you wanna see what Mike is harping about: http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/2008/11/nationals-trade-three-young-cheap.html

James Bjork said...

I agree with Scott C. Yes, it's YOUR blog, and no one is forcing anyone to read it. However, I was also greatly turned off last nite by your using this triumphant moment in Nats (and DC sports) history to fire off some snarky "I was so right, and this journalist was so wrong" post.

You can do better.

traderkirk said...

No matter what happens to Strasburg after today, he's already done more for them than Grant Green ever could have (barring his ascension to HoF status with the A's.)

And how many "Wow he was better than the hype" posts does one need to read.

Oh and Boz -- Todd Van Poppel was the 14th player taken in that draft not the 2nd. Tigers took Tony Clark

TBC said...

You miss the real reason Boswell didn't want the Nats to draft Strasburg: because it would prevent the Orioles from drafting him.

Jon said...

These comments are weak. Boz was on the warpath to convince everyone (including my father who believed him) that Strasburg was a bust before he ever got drafted. Look at his article. He is literally calling Strasburg a bust BEFORE he got drafted!

He should be called out for that. That's what blogs, and even journalists do, they hold people accountable. If that upsets you, then don't read.