Stephen Strasburg has been a top name amongst starting pitchers for years. However, with another mediocre season, that could not be the case for long.
The Washington Nationals have drafted well over the last few seasons. They’ve selected young players they can build their team around for years to come. One of those players finally had his breakout season. We are still waiting for that season for starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. He’s shown signs of superstardom, but this could be the last season for the hype before fantasy owners begin to move on.
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Strasburg was drafted in 2009 and made his MLB debut on June 8, 2010, which some have labeled as “the most hyped pitching debut the game has ever seen.” He went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits and struck out 14 on his way to his first career win.
After 12 starts, Stephen Strasburg was diagnosed a torn UCL, which ultimately led to Tommy John Surgery and 12 to 18 months of rehab. He made just five starts in 2011, and threw 24 innings, struck out 24, compiled a 1.50 ERA and a 1–1 record.
He earned his first All-Star game appearance in 2012. He finished 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA 1.56 WHIP, 11.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 159.1 innings (28 starts). His usage increased in the following two seasons, 30 and 34 starts and 183 and 215 innings. He had 242 strikeouts in 2014 and finished ninth in the National League Cy Young voting. Then 2015 happened.
He went 11-7 with a 3.46 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 11.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 127.1 innings (23 starts). Strasburg finished as the No. 32 starting pitcher and No. 130 overall on the Player Rater. He missed most of June and July with multiple injuries, which seems to be a recurring thing in Strasburg’s career.
Despite the high ERA and WHIP, Stephen Strasburg posted some good numbers. He lowered his ground ball rate, HR/FB rate and hard-hit rate. He has the skills to be a top-10 pitcher. but he’s had some control issues that can turn a good outing into a dismal one. It also doesn’t help that Nationals Park is a hitter-friendly park, ranking ninth, 14th and 12th in runs, home runs and hits.
Stephen Strasburg has been a highly touted pitcher for years. He’s shown promise to be an elite pitcher, especially in 2014, but injuries struck again in 2015. Is he someone you can draft within the first five rounds and trust not to get hurt? That’s highly unlikely I would feel more comfortable drafting him as a No. 2 pitcher before round 10. He can easily reach 200 strikeouts, an unwanted 3.00 ERA is likely to follow. He is someone I am avoiding on draft day.
Projections: 14-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 215 strikeouts
Draft: Round 7