Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strasburg, Stanton here to save the day

Step aside politics. There's a new Super Tuesday in town.

And both campaigns are in the swing state of Pennsylvania.

What are the chances that both Steven Strasburg and Michael Stanton make their debuts on the very same night?

In the same state? At 7:05 p.m.?

This is not just a big night in fantasy baseball history, but baseball lore as well. The two mega-prospects will debut 309 miles apart, connected by baseball enthusiasts and Interstate 76.

If you have a pulse at all and have not been hanging out, eating bugs in a cave, you surely know about the Strasburg story.

He dominated AA and AAA with Tim Lincecum-type numbers. In six AAA games, he posted the following numbers: 33 1/3 IP, 38 Ks, 1.08 ERA, 0.75 WHIP. The biggest news came in his last start, when Strasburg and his triple-digit heater gave up his first home run. That's right, 1 HR in 55 minor league IP.

Some experts think he may be baseball's best pitcher already. High and lofty praise. And certainly there will be an adjustment period. But his dominance in college and the minors made him worth adding back in March.

Through the wonders of technology, we even know how he'll fare against his first batter:

But then there's Stanton, who you may not know as much about. If your team lacks power, you may have latched onto him already. Somehow, he's still only 43 percent owned in Yahoo leagues. Although, that's up from 7 percent not even a week ago.

Stanton, 20, is young, which makes you wonder if he'll be able to make the leap as successfully as Strasburg. I say yeah. Look at what he did in AA Jacksonville.

In 52 games: 21 HR, 52 RBI, 41 runs, .311 avg., .441 obp.

You won't get the average from Stanton, who has struck out 53 times this year. But don't let that sway you. The power is legit.

Folks who have seen him talk endlessly how the crack off Stanton's bat is different. Judge for yourself. Here's a Spring Training HR off one-time stud pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.

With every once-in-a-decade type prospect, there's an equally legendary story to go with him. Stanton's is a 500-plus-foot home run in the first week of May that turned him from just another top prospect to The Prospect in the minors.

Florida RP Dan Meyer, on a rehab assignment with the Jacksonville Suns, was on hand for the mammouth HR that cleared the scoreboard. There's no available footage of the blast, but listen to Meyer describe the shot.

It's hard to predict how the debuts of each player goes tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if Strasburg threw a 4-hit gem, striking out 8, while Stanton went 2-for-3 with a HR and 4 RBI.

But they both could bomb under the intense pressure. Still, both are must-adds in any format, even a 6-team league, if such a thing exists. Very soon, possibly even next spring, these guys may be first or second round picks.

Strasburg, Stanton, Heyward....you are seeing the next wave of youth movement spring up before our eyes, an exciting time in baseball.

Even better if you can latch on to one of these guys at the ground floor.


Anonymous said...

Strasburg is making his debut at home in DC, not in Pittsburgh.