It seems the world of baseball is focused on the major league debut of pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg became the focus of many baseball fans since beyond just this season. While pitching for San Diego State, Stephen put up incredible numbers, including an unbelievable 23 strikeout outing in 2008. Yes, 23 strikeouts. Combine that with his 1-hit performance in the Beijing Olympics and his first no-hitter against Air Force in his 2009 season, and you’ve got a recipe with a flavor that every baseball fan hungers for.
It’s really no surprise that Strasburg was selected number one overall in the 2009 MLB Draft. The Washington Nationals would have been crazy to have selected anyone else.
For those that caught on early, the wait to see the 6’4″, 220 pound right-hander to make his Major League Baseball debut is almost over. Rumors have been circulating that the Nationals would bring Strasburg up from their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse in early June. While most would worry about the pressure of playing in the big leagues, it seems Strasburg gets better at every level. For instance this season, he began at Double-A Harrisburg, where he went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and struck out 27 in just 22 innings pitched. Then it was on to Syracuse where he is 3-0 in four starts, with an earned run average of 0.39 and 27 strikeouts.
For the Nationals, the timing is perfect. The Nationals moved above five hundred with a victory over the San Francisco Giants last night, a far cry from their 59-103 finish last season, but if Strasburg’s performance continues on its current path, he could easily lift the Nationals to the top of most competitive division in baseball, the National League East.
The Nationals haven’t had a winning season since before the team moved to Washington in 2005. With Nationals Park only two years young, and the most anticipated pitching prospect the game has seen in years, baseball in the nation’s capital is about to become more exciting and move to winning side of things.
Yes, he’s that good. Ironically, during Spring Training this year he was given the nickname “Jesus.”