Nationals Win Strasburg Sweepstakes
The Washington Nationals (59-102) held off the Seattle Mariners down the stretch by losing 9 of their last 10 games to nail down the worst record in MLB for 2008.
The Mariners (61-101), who had already lost their embarassing 100th game, blew their chances by sweeping the A’s at home in the final series of the season.
This means that the Washington Nationals will receive the #1 pick in the upcoming amateur draft and will almost surely select San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg is regarded by many as the top prospect to hit the MLB draft since Mark Prior.
If you hadn’t heard of him before, you probably learned of Strasburg when he became the only collegian to be selected for the USA Olympic team. Strasburg pitched a seven inning one-hitter against The Netherlands, then was saved to pitch for the Americans in the semifinal against Cuba. Cuba defeated the USA team as Strasburg went just four innings in the semifinal against the talented Cubans.
Strasburg, 20, is big (6-4, 220) has a great slider, but his eye-opening fastball is what has the Nationals drooling. Strasburg has hit 101 MPH and regularly throws in the 96-97 range as a starter for the Aztecs.
On March 11, Strasburg struckout 23 in a game against the University of Utah. For the season, Strasburg was 8-3 with a 1.57 ERA. He fanned 133 in 97 innings pitched and was named a consensus All-American.
Barring injury, Strasburg will be the #1 pick for the Nationals in the upcoming draft. Expect him to be a major impact pitcher in the Bigs for the 2010 season.