As expected, the Washington Nationals made San Diego State University right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, giving them the opportunity to likely pay him $50+ million, thanks to Scott Boras.
But I heard an interesting take on Strasburg on the local sports talk radio station today–one caller said that, while talented, he is being vastly overrated, due to the competition level in the Mountain West Conference.
Granted, it was just a caller to a station in Minnesota–but the caller was apparently from Vegas, and apparently had an opportunity to watch Strasburg pitch in person. He went so far as to add that the no-hitter that Strasburg recently threw–the first of his career–was not even that impressive, as it was against Air Force–the worst team in the conference, whom the caller suspected that there were several other pitchers that could also no hit.
So, while I’m not ready to say that Strasburg won’t make the bigs, and might not be a solid pitcher–but if I’m the Nationals, I’d also be pretty hesitant to throw away $50+ million on a guy who has thrown a lot of quality pitches against some pretty mediocre competition.