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August 21, 2009

Is Stephen Strasburg destined for greatness?

Being the first pick in the draft means instant success, right?


But try telling that to the 1985 me and I'd sooner spit in your face than agree with you.

Please...allow me to explain.

In 1985, the Topps card company had, among their seemingly ENDLESS amount of sub-sets, a block of cards reserved for baseball's past number one draft picks.

All the big ones were there...Bill Almon, Al Chambers, Bob Horner. Even Shawn Abner, first pick overall by the Mets in 1984 was included.

Suffice it to say...I was hooked and I had to collect all of those first picks.

25 years later, I got to thinking..."is this year's number one pick destined for the greatness everyone seems to think he is?" Think about Stephen Strasburg already knocking on the door to Cooperstown simply because he was picked first?


Would you be shocked to find out that since the draft started in 1965, there hasn't been a single number one draft pick to make his way to The Hall of Fame?

Matter of fact, only four players that have been selected in the top ten of the respective draft classes have been enshrined...Reggie Jackson (drafted second overall in 1966), Robin Yount and Dave Winfield (selected with the third and fourth picks in the 1973) and Paul Molitor (taken third overall in 1977).

All in all, a pretty good foursome...but you've gotta admit, it is a little surprising.

And before you ask, yes, there appears to be at least three number ones that will be joining Jackson, Yount, Winfield and Molitor in Cooperstown in the upcoming years. Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez were all taken first in 1987, 1990 and 1993 respectively.

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

I predict Stras gets shelled. The faster he throws the further it goes..and the quicker you need rotator cuff/tommy john/etc. etc. just ask Joel Zumaya

Charley said...

I predicted he'll be an average pitcher. If you look at the greats over the last decade or two, most have been more of a finesse pitcher, Maddux, Glavine, Pedro, etc. Sure there has been a Randy Johnson here and there, but for every RJ there has been a Kerry Wood. I say put him in a closer role.

Jesus Melendez said...

For every Randy Johnson, there are hundreds of Kerry Woods. Johnson is, arguably, one of the top three lefties to take the hill.

Johnny P said...

Steven Strausberg = Todd Van Poppel

JB said...

Stephen Strasburg could equal a lot things. But what he should equal to the Nationals is hype, ticket sales, buzz, ticket sales, optimism and finally ticket sales. If I am newly-named GM Mike Rizzo, I bring his ass up and say, "Put up or shut up - you got your money, now earn it."
Unfortunately though because of the "Joba Rules," and the fact that owners want to maximize the time they can hold prospects to their rookie contracts (i.e. - Longoria, Braun, Price) to keep them from becoming free agents we won't see the guy pitch until sometime next season - WHEN THE HYPE HAS ALREADY LEFT TOWN!!!! By the time Strasburg is an impact player, Rizzo will be gone. You get a new toy - you want to play with it. Not wait until next Christmas.
Why delay the inevitable? He'll be a Yankee when the contract is up with DC.