In Seacaucus, NJ, Matt Vasgersian highlights the big plays in last night's games. Harold Reynolds weighs in with his opinions on players in slumps or pitchers who are dominating. The tile on the floor shines with newness as Victor Rojas walks across to his office.
It's baseball heaven.
It's been a long road here, to Seacaucus, for some young players. It will be soon that they will participate in the beginning event of their budding Major League career, the Amateur Player Draft of 2009.
Promising future stars like Stephen Strasburg, Grant Green, Alex White, and Dustin Ackley have scouts drooling like rain on a normal day in Seattle.
And it is in Seattle that Mariners brass eagerly awaits their pick. After stumbling to disheartening mediocrity in the last season, this team is fortunate enough to garner the No. 2 overall pick in the '09 draft.
Time will tell who goes to this franchise, and time is passing fast—in just a small amount of hours will these Mariners decide the future of their franchise. This player, handpicked by Mariners higher-ups, will team with current Mariners prospects Phillipe Aumont, Greg Halman, and Carlos Triunfel to make a winner.
We already know that going at No. 1 to the Nationals and acting GM Mike Rizzo is the hard-throwing righty Stephen Strasburg. This hurler can bring the gas, frequently clocked at 103 MPH with his fastball, also featuring a slider in the 90 MPH range. He is a phenomenal 13-1 on the year, with a sparkling 1.32 ERA and a sterling strikeout total of 195.
Funny; in each number there was a "one" (the one in the number 13, the first number of the ERA, the hundreds digit of the strikeout total)—maybe it's just fitting that Strasburg looks to be the No. 1 pitcher in all of MLB in a few years.
On another note, Dustin Ackley looks to be a successful player. Scouts rave about his ability as a hitter, and he draws comparisons to Josh Hamilton, ability-wise. It is to be seen how he transitions from metal to wooden bats, but I wonder if that would make much difference with his talent.
These and other draft prospects go to sleep tonight as amateur players, and sleep tomorrow night as pros. Some will be destined for a long career riding buses in the minors, and not accomplishing anything at the MLB level. But others will make noise at the Major League level—and we wonder who.
It's been a long road to Seacaucus, but it's a much, much longer road to Cooperstown.