I Am Legend: Stephen Strasburg
If you do not know who Stephen Strasburg is, then it is time for you to wake up. Before Friday night, Strasburg was already arguably the greatest college pitcher of all-time. After his performance Friday, he may have separated himself from the field.
Strasburg added to his legacy by throwing a no-hitter against Air Force in what was probably his last home game. He did not disappoint the record-sized Tony Gwynn Stadium attendance; striking out 17, while only walking two.
A no-no is a very fitting way for Strasburg to go out in front of the home fans. The future Washington National (assuming they keep their word and take him with the first pick in next month's draft) has been making a name for himself ever since last year, when he struck out 23 batters in a game against Utah.
Last summer, he played for the USA collegiate team in the summer before being selected as the only amateur player to play on the USA Olympic team, which was compiled of the game's top minor league prospects.
Friday's performance was the cherry on top of the sundae. He added to his video game-like statistics. The no-hitter improved his record to an amazing 11-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.24. He now has 164 strikeouts, compared to only 17 walks. His 164 K's in 87 1/3 innings gives him a ridiculous K/9 rate of just under 17.
While the numbers he is putting up can rarely even be seen in a video game, his pitches can not even be duplicated in a video game. He throws a blazing fastball. It sits in the upper nineties but has been clocked as high as 102 mph.
Oh by the way, his fastball has some cutting action, making it even harder to hit. Mix in a low-90s slider, an upper-80s curve, and a Bugs Bunny change.
His stuff is filthy. The Aztec crowd cheers when the opposing team hits a foul tip. Batters should go to the dish with diapers on when Strasburg is throwing.
He makes even the best hitters on some of the better schools look like high schoolers. Some scouts even go as far as to say that he is better than A.J. Burnett right now.
The road to success was not as easy as some may believe. Strasburg was undrafted out of high school. San Diego State pitching coach Rusty Filter had to convince head coach Tony Gwynn that Strasburg could pitch at the Division 1 level.
Entering his first semester at SDSU, Strasburg was out of shape and weighed around 250 pounds and throwing in the low-90s. In fact, the strength and conditioning coach told him that he might as well quit because he would never make it through the fall.
After considering hanging up his spikes, Strasburg thought better of it and decided to work his tail off to become the best ballplayer he could be and ended up losing about 30 pounds in the process, while gaining about 7 mph on his heater.
As his time in college winds down, one cannot help but look back at what he has accomplished in only three years of college and imagine of what is to come in the future for the living legend known as Stephen Strasburg.
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