Yesterday Paul previewed the long-awaited debut of phenom Stephen Strasburg with the Washington Nationals. Strasburg is the hottest pitching prospect in a long time, but Paul’s preview was cautious, as befits a life-long fan of the Washington Senators and the Washington Nationals.
But Strasburg’s debut turned out to be electrifying. He struck out 14 batters in seven innings as the Nationals beat the Pirates 5-2. HIs fast ball hit 100 mph and his curve ball baffled the Pirates. After the game, he gave an interview while being pelted with whipped cream and pies by his teammates. Some rookie debut!
The Nationals got the first choice in this year’s draft, too, and chose Bryce Harper, a 17-year-old slugger who is, maybe, even more of a phenom than Strasburg.
PAUL adds: John is absolutely right about Strasburg’s debut. He pitched even better than he had in the minor leagues. There, he toyed with hitters, often letting them get themselves out. Tonight, realizing that few in the lineup would get themselves out, he overpowered hitters.
The reason why I suggested that Strasburg’s career might not surpass Burt Hooton’s is because there are so many bad things that can happen to a young pitcher. That’s way no pitcher ever selected with the first pick of the draft has career totals significantly better than Hooton’s.
But Strasburg looks special. So if he stays healthy over the long haul, he should leave “Happy” Hooton in the dust.
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