Some of you have probably heard a thing or two about Stephen Strasburg. If not, you definitely will by the time June comes around. For the uninformed, Mr. Strasburg is a pitcher for the San Diego State Aztecs. More than likely, he will be the top pick of the June amateur draft. He’s been called the greatest prospect ever. Not just the best this season….but the best prospect OF ALL TIME. Scouts rave about his stuff. His fastball touches 100mph, with movement. He throws a slider in the low 90′s and he has a plus changeup. Last season he struck out 23 batters in a game and was the only amateur player on the U.S. Olympic team. The Friar Forecast has been tracking his starts this season and so far he has struck out 55% of the batters he’s faced. So yeah, he’s got a lot of people excited about his future.
With all the hype surrounding him, look for Stephen Strasburg cards to generate a lot of excitement in the trading community. And I’m not talking about his Razor or Tristar or Extra Edition or even Bowman Draft cards. If there is no prolonged holdout – always a possibility, especially considering he is a Scott Boras client – he has an outside shot of making the 2009 Topps Update set. That would definitely cause some excitement.
At this point, I only see a couple of possibilities for Strasburg to fall to the Padres. First both the Nationals and the Mariners have to be scared off by both Scott Boras’ insane contract demands and the injury concerns regarding Strasburg’s mechanics. Also, the sale of the Padres would have to be finalized by then. There is absolutely no way that John Moores would pay a draft pick the money it would take to sign Strasburg (remember Matt Bush?).
The Padres best shot at drafting Strasburg is actually in 2010. Let’s say Boras doesn’t like the offer he gets and he advises Strasburg to hold out past August 15th. At that point he can no longer be signed and would have to reenter next year’s draft. With the team the Padres are fielding in 09, they would have a pretty decent shot of landing him in 2010, if this were to happen.
So the universe would have to align just right for the Padres to nab the greatest prospect of all time. Which means it’s probably not going to happen.