103 miles-per-hour. Yes, you are reading it correctly.
That’s what the radar gun said after Stephen Strasburg fired a ferocious fastball during one of his games at San Diego State University. Some might ask, who is this Stephen Strasburg who’s constantly throwing a baseball over 100 mph?
My answer to that: He is the best pitching prospect in the country, if not the world.
Come the 2009 MLB Draft in June, the Washington Nationals, who are in serious need of a franchise pitcher, could easily call Strasburg’s name first overall.
Well, why not? What’s not to like about this kid? First of all, he has a 101 mph fastball and a breaking pitch that has the movement of a curveball but the velocity of a slider. And he’s put those pitches to work!
The stats don’t lie: for this season, he is 8-0 with a 1.28 ERA and 121 strikeouts through 63.1 innings. And in 2008, he gave one of the best pitching performances I’ve ever heard of. In a 1-0 victory over the University of Utah, Strasburg let up only one hit while striking out 23 batters! He’s just dominant!
Okay, so it’s obvious that Strasburg (who slightly resembles “The Freak” himself, Tim Lincecum, in pitching style) is a great -- no, nearly perfect -- college pitcher. But, who says he can continue to dominate in the Major Leagues against hitters like Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and David Wright? I have an answer to that too!
He proved he could handle the big leagues in the summer of 2008. Strasburg became the first college pitcher to pitch for the USA in the Olympics, where he showed that he can pitch well against some of the world’s most incredible hitters. Strasburg dominated, posting a 1-1 record with just a 2.45 ERA. On top of that, he nearly threw a no-hitter against the Netherlands!
The Washington Nationals are expected to select Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick in the Draft. If they do, he and his agent, Scott Boras, will reportedly ask for close to $50 million! There’s hardly any chance of signing Strasburg for anything less; Boras uses tricks to always get what he wants. If the Nationals decide not to spend all that money or don’t want to deal with Boras in the future, the Seattle Mariners, with the second pick in the draft, will surely select him.
So get ready to hear about this phenom! Soon enough, the 103 mph man will be a household name. What else can I say? Stephen Strasburg is a natural.