The hype machines are being allowed to cool. There’s been so much hyperbole chucked out across the airwaves that we faced a spill of BP proportion. Seriously, the adjectives and statistical comparisons between Stephen Strasburg and (insert Hall of Fame pitcher here) have reached the point of inducing nausea.
That’s right. I said it. I’ve watched a couple of his minor league starts. I’ve witnessed him obliterate minor league hitters. I’m not saying that he’s devoid of talent. In fact, I found myself inching closer to the edge of my seat with each pitch. I’m just tired of the split screens and just wish that we’d pause for a moment and let the kid pitch. Let him get that first pitch across or in the batter’s ear in front of the national media and a salivating fantasy baseball audience.
Strasburg may eventually punch out enough hitters and win enough games to warrant those Cooperstown comparisons. I just want to follow along the path without those grandiose expectations that few can reach.
For the Pirates, it’s like a World Series moment and that coveted role of “spoiler.”
On the undercard in this “Prospect Tuesday” is the debut of Mike Stanton of the Nationals. I know. You’re envisioning a 30-something middle reliever when you hear that name. You’ll think differently when you hear the crack of the bat.
Stanton ripped 21 minor league home runs, demonstrated a strong batting eye and is mature beyond his 20 years. However, he’s never taken an at-bat above Double-A. It’s possible that he comes up and starts parking balls into the outfield like Jason Heyward (currently slumping) has in Atlanta. Stanton will hit his share of extra-base hits and could be considered for a fifth outfield slot in roto leagues. Just be ready for the hard times when hits don’t come as easily.
This is a unique day in recent baseball history. We have two of the most heralded prospects in the game arriving to the majors on the night. Everyone except those preoccupied with Game 3 of the NBA Finals will be watching.
Break out the thesauruses for some new adjectives. The new world order begins tonight.