Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Is Stephen Strasburg the next Ben McDonald?

I have my concerns.  Sure, the Nationals have done a great job of limiting his innings, but will that be enough? MLB.com is littered with Stephen Strasburg advertising, they are cashing in on this as much as the Nationals.  It is my hope that his arm is able to withstand the hype. 

I recall similar hype (in a non-internet era) surrounding LSU graduate Ben McDonald.  Ben McDonald won the 1990 Rookie of the year award for the AL by going 8-5.  He would not finish above .500 again until 1994 when he would have his best season (record wise) at 14-7.  All-in-all, he had a 9 year career between the Orioles and Brewers ending his career with a 78-70 mark and a 3.91 ERA.  Not horrible numbers, but the hype and hysteria surrounding him in 1989 put him in the hall of fame before he began. 

I followed Tim Lincecum as he worked his way through the Giants org.  He entered with little fanfare, and had a mediocre rookie season, statistically speaking.  After capturing two Cy Young awards, I would think it is safe to say that he has arrived.

Is Stephen Cooperstown bound?  We won’t know for hopefully a very long time as he is only 21 years old.  If his minor league numbers transition over to the majors, the NL has a lot to worry about.  He is leaving behind a 7-2 mark with a 1.30 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 11 games. 

Good luck tonight Stephen, it would be cool to be there!

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