clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Washington Nationals, "...believe they are on the verge of developing a wave of young pitchers." -'s Ken Rosenthal Ken Rosenthal quote from Mr. Rosenthal's article entitled, "Market for Perez remains hard to figure."


I asked my brother Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball to listen to the interview segment with San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg this afternoon on Baseball Digest Daily Live with Eric SanInocencio's "College Preview" podcast, and take some notes so that we could see what impression each of us had of the projected number one overall prospect in baseball, who appears destined for Washington, DC, and the Nationals, last year's worst team and thus this year's first in line at the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft...

Scout's Interview Highlights and Notes...

Scout - Strasburg sees himself as a Beckett/Peavy type pitcher when he reaches the Majors. (ed. noteBeckett/Peavy? - Strasburg says the way they establish inside of the zone and work slider away...attack inside to open up the outside of the plate...")

Scout - Pitches? - likes to establish fastball/slider, changeup, adding a sinker...Strasburg wants to work on working in change/slider, instead of throwing fastballs by college hitters...(ed. note - "Pitches? - likes to establish fastball/slider, then mix in change to keep them off balance, and has added a sinker.

Scout - Strasburg started at San Diego State as a closer, treated every inning as the ninth after transition to starting, worked on stamina...

Scout - "Strasburg finally feels fresh after a long season, Olympics, etc. (ed. note - US Olympic Team? - Strasburg thought he was capable, it proved to him that he can play at the next level...")

Scout - He's ignoring hype and concentrating on getting San Diego State (SDS) to the Regionals, College W.S...#1 goal, to have a great year, get San Diego State on the national stage...(ed. note - "Q: Does having Tony Gwynn as a coach help? A: Absolutely.")

Scout - Says it's nice to be considered for #1 pick, but goal is to be major league pitcher, not to get picked #1 overall. (ed. note - "When asked, is he familiar with the Nationals/Aaron Crow situation? Strasburg says he'll just see where the dominoes fall, wants to get to big leagues, not just be #1 pick."

Scout - And, Fitt?(ed. note - "Baseball America's Aaron Fitt"*) says Strasburg ignored by scouts, has matured as a player, etc.

 The first game of the San Diego State Aztecs' season is on February 20th against Bethune Cookman. The Aztecs' official website also has a link to an article in San Diego Magazine, which lists Strasburg as one of the, "50 People to Watch in 2009".

* - Immediately after Strasburg's segment, Mr. SanInocencio had Baseball America's Aaron Fitt, (whose lists of the Nationals' Top 10 Prospects i've often referred to), on the show and Mr. Fitt expressed his surprise at how much Strasburg had "grown", Mr. Fitt says that Strasburg was largely ignored by scouts because he was seen as immature, has matured as a player, person, etc. 

Jack McGeary? Higher Learning? Or The Minor Leagues? 

John A. "Jack" McGeary was the Washington Nationals 6th Round pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft.'s Bill Ladson wrote at the time, in an 8/14/07 article entitled, "Nats' sixth-round pick to attend Stanford", that McGeary was:

"...considered 1st Round material but he dropped to the sixth round because a lot of scouts felt he would go to Stanford instead."

McGeary told the Nationals, according to Mr. Ladson, that he would sign for 1st Round money or go to Stanford, and when the Nationals initially balked at the idea, McGeary and his agent Brodie Van Wagenen(ed. note - "Yes, Zim's agent), seemed resigned to the fact that McGeary would simply go to Stanford and then reenter the draft at a later date. 

Just two days later, however,'s Bill Ladson was back with another article, this one entitled, "Nats agree to terms with McGeary", where Mr. Ladson was reporting that the Nationals came through with a fairly unique deal to lock up McGeary:

"According to sources, McGeary will get a $1.8 million signing bonus and the team will pay for his college education to Stanford University."

The $1.8M signing was the second highest the Nationals handed out to their 2007 draft picks, second only to DC's 1st Round pick in '07, Ross Detwiler, who was selected 6th overall, and agreed to a $2.15M dollar signing bonus, (which, according to, was just $10,000 above the Est.(ablished) Slot money for a 6th overall pick. A $1.8M signing bonus? That's somewhere in the "9th or 10th pick overall" slot. And I'd be willing to bet no other 1st Round pick got a Stanford education thrown in along with their bonus...")

But now, according to recent reports, (ed. note - "Which have already been called into question almost as soon as they went into print,"), McGeary may have decided to forgo his junior year at Stanford to concentrate on baseball full-time. So far in his professional career, (14 starts in), McGeary's (2-3) with a combined 4.48 ERA and 73 K's in 66.1 IP at Rookie and A ball. Washington Post writer Chico Harlan had a post up this morning at the Nationals Journal entitled, "Bowden Says That McGeary Will Play Full Season", about how Jim Bowden stated, in an interview with Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus, that, in Mr. Harlan's words, "McGeary has decided to play baseball full-time this season."

Within the same paragraph, however, Mr. Harlan writes, "Those in the McGeary camp, though, are emphasizing that no decision has yet been made," and Mr. Harlan continues to report that, "McGeary's father, Pat, said this morning, 'I think it would be premature to say anything."

(ed. note - "I notice he didn't say, 'No, he's not leaving school,' but this is an awkward little exchange.")

The conversation between Mr. Carroll, Mr. Bowden and DC Asst. GM Mike Rizzo is well worth a listen. This particular exchange is transcribed in Mr. Harlan's article and the interview can be heard in its entirety at Baseball Prospectus. 

And Now For Something Completely Different...

I got an email from Paul Sullivan, aka Sully from Sully Baseball.blogspot, about a recent series of posts he's undertaken where he's compiling All-Time Homegrown(drafted or signed) and All-Time Acquired Players rosters for each of the Major League teams, and he recently completed the Expos/Nationals' list...But there aren't too many Nationals on either of the Expos-heavy rosters. Tim Wallach over Ryan Zimmerman on the homegrown roster? How about an outfield of Tim Raines in left Andre Dawson in center and Vladimir Guerrero in right?

Do you think any of the pitchers the Nationals drafted will replace Expos' picks like Steve Rogers, Charlie Lea or Javier Vazquez? Can you guess which "homegrown" National makes the roster? It's a fun excercise, and any time I get to bring up the name Mark Langston, one of my all-time favorites, I will. 

And for the old school DC fans, Mr. Sullivan's also compiled lists for the Twins and Rangers, which feature members of each of the former Senators' teams. Washington Senators' pitcher Walter Johnson is the #1 starter of the Senators/Twins' "homegrown" roster. Frank Howard? He's been relegated to a Reserve Outfielder role on the Rangers' "Acquired" roster? Hondo? A reserve? C'mon?