Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has a rather interesting article regarding Stephen Strasburg and former MLB first round picks. His point is simple… we’ve gotten some real goodies with the #1 pick (Griffey, Arod, Chipper, Mauer) but at the same time, there have been some duds, too.
Crasnick trots out some examples to make his point. Players like Brien Taylor (who never even made to the majors), Matt Anderson, Paul Wilson to name just a few. When I take a cursory look at Baseball Reference’s list of first round picks, I come away with the opinion that position players seem to have better luck than pitchers. Hence the concern about Strasburg.
Don’t get me wrong… this isn’t an indictment by me on Stephen Strasburg’s talent or the possibility he may develop into a first-rate pitcher. Rather it’s a concern that the media, baseball pundits and fans may expect too much too soon from someone who has yet to pitch in a regular season baseball game.
This pre-season, the media and other baseball are falling over themselves trying to cover this guy. I get the feeling they’re also falling in love with him too (sometimes in the weirdest way). The day of his first start in spring training, everyone was all abuzz (and a-twitter) about it. I pretty much got an over-excited pitch-by-pitch account of his appearance. If he scratched his nose, I heard about it.
Now that it’s been decided that Strasburg will make his debut later this year (some have said “delay”), I’m sure the media will no doubt keep an eye on his minor league development.
I really would like to see this guy succeed. So let’s give the guy some room and maybe not so much pressure. I’d hate to have another Mark Prior on our hands.