In 28 relief appearances at three levels of the Washington Nationals' system in his first pro season after signing shortly after he was selected in the 1st Round of the '09 Draft with the Nats' second 1st Round pick after they took Stephen Strasburg no.1 overall, Drew Storen had a 1.95 ERA, eight walks (1.95 BB/9) and 49 Ks (11.92 K/9) in 37.0 IP in which he recorded 11 saves. A former Stanford Cardinal closer, taken with the 10th pick in 2009 with the compensation pick Washington received when they failed to sign '08 1st Rounder Aaron Crow, Storen started his second pro season in Double-A Harrisburg but quickly moved up to the Nats' top affiliate (Triple-A Syracuse), throwing 16.2 innings combined in which he had a 1.08 ERA, three walks (1.62 BB/9) and 18 Ks (9.72 K/9) before he was called up to make his MLB debut on May 17th.
"'What more can we ask him to do in the minor leagues that he can't do in the major leagues?'" Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo asked rhetorically at the time, as quoted in an article by Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. The Nats weren't as concerned with the possibility of Storen reaching Super 2 status as the WaPost writer noted, since, "The implications of making Strasburg a Super 2, the likely fate of Storen, are far more severe and expensive than in Storen's case."
Storen was (4-4) with five saves, a 3.58 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 22 BB (3.58 BB/9) and 55 Ks (8.46 K/9) in 55.1 IP in 2010 and (6-3) with 43 saves in 73 games and 75.1 IP in 2011 in which he had a 2.75 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 20 BB (2.39 BB/9) and 74 Ks (8.84 K/9). Surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow delayed the start of Storen's 2012 campaign, but he was (3-1) with four saves, a 2.37 ERA, 2.40 FIP, eight walks (2.37 BB/9) and 24 Ks (7.12 K/9) in 37 games and 30.1 IP for the NL East champs. In his first postseason run, Storen made four appearances, winning one game and saving one before blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS with St. Louis.
Storen agreed to a $1.6M dollar signing bonus out of the Draft, was re-signed to a $418,000 deal in 2011 and renewed on a 1-year/$498,750 deal for 2012. The 25-year-old right-handed reliever, as a player in the, "... top 22 percent of players by service time with at least two years but less than three," in the majors, is, "... eligible for arbitration along with the 3-to-6 year players,", according to a FOX News/AP report this afternoon, and Storen qualified for Super Two status under the new guidelines established under the latest CBA:
"Under the labor contract agreed to last November, the top 22 percent of players by service time with at least two years but less than three are eligible for arbitration along with the 3-to-6 year players. From 1991 through last year, the top 17 percent in the 2-to-3-year group had been eligible.
"The cutoff was 2 years, 139 days, down from what would have been 2 years, 144 days under the old rule. Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders still fell one day short."
Storen's due a significant raise over the $498,750 he made in 2012. The reliever is one of six pitchers eligible for arbitration this year along with pitchers Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny, John Lannan and Jordan Zimmermann; outfielder Roger Bernadina, shortstop Ian Desmond and catcher Jesus Flores.