21-year-old pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg made his major league debut in front of a sold out Washington crowd Tuesday night and, as he has done again and again, managed to surpass every expectation that comes with being an historical talent. What can we possibly say about Stephen Strasburg that hasn’t already been said about previous hyped, top prospects with great potential?
Needing only 94 pitches, Strasburg made it through seven innings allowing four hits and two runs on a Delwyn Young home run. The fireballer struck out 14 batters without walking anyone and he retired the last ten batters he faced, striking out the last seven.
Drafted first overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2009 MLB amateur draft out of San Diego State and billed as one of the greatest amateur pitchers in draft history, the expectation was that Strasburg would move quickly through the minor leagues and make his debut before the 2010 All-Star break. He did just that, making 11 starts between Double and Triple-A, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.30 ERA, striking out 65, walking 13 in 55.1 IP (one home run allowed). Everyone who saw him pitch came away impressed. Curt Schilling proclaimed Strasburg would be one of the best pitchers in baseball immediately upon arrival and more than a few eyebrows were raised. We even noted how Strasburg would combine with Bryce Harper to form the new faces of the Nats’ franchise.
So what makes Strasburg such a widely-acclaimed talent?