June 8, the hype meets reality. The Messiah’s Arrival has a Date.
The Washington Nationals have announced that June 8th is the launch date for Stephen Strasberg, the über prospect whose coming has been heralded New Testament style.
For those that don’t know, Strasburg is the truth. Period.
He was heralded as perhaps the greatest prospect ever in Major League Baseball history and hasn’t given any inclination that isn’t exactly what he is yet. From the every start hype San Diego State, the $15 million contract, the mowing down of overmatched Double & Triple A batters, everything has led to this point.
When Strasberg shows up in Washington DC at Nationals Park on June 8th the prophecy will be fulfilled. Or so you would be led to believe.
Let’s be clear: I believe that Strasberg is what he is: the best prospect in the game. Nothing more.
Now I do understand that is a bit of contradiction. Being top dog isn’t easy, but the expectations for what he will be are crazy high. By no means is he going to land in the major leagues and dethrone Halliday, Lincecum, Greinke or any of the other elite aces in Baseball to win the Cy Young this year, maybe not even next year. He will join a middle of the road Nationals team and will have to work harder than ever to achieve the same level of success he has reached on the road to this point. Major league hitters are continually overwhelmed by fastballs, they adjust and lock in on them. Luckily for Strasberg, he’s not a one trick pony, he has a devastating repertoire that features several breaking balls and a developing changeup. He will be fine.
However, it must be understood that this will take time. So on the 8th if his debut is anywhere close to what I think it will be (5 innings, 7 K’s, 3 runs), don’t think you’ve been sold up the river, just remember these stat lines:
1.) 5.2 Innings, 3 strikeouts, 3 runs
2) 5.0 Innings, 5 strikeouts, 3 runs
3) 4.1 Innings, 5 strikeouts, 5 runs
Who produced these pedestrian numbers in their welcomes to the big leagues?
1.) CC Sabathia, 2.) Roy Halliday 3.) Tim Lincecum…..who now have a total of 4 Cy Young’s between them
So give “The Chosen One” a chance. I guarantee he’ll be all that he should on a lot of days post June 8.
~ M. Whitener