Both of these kids aren't even old enough to drink. One is barely old enough to legally drive by himself. Stephen Strasburg, 20, and Bryce Harper, 16, are baseball's future. Strasburg, a starting pitcher out of San Diego State University, and Harper, a catcher out of Las Vegas High School, have both been called baseball's saviors.
In this article, I'll get an in-depth analysis of each player's strengths, and then give my opinion of which player I'd rather build a franchise around.
The incredible pitcher out of SDSU. And by using the word incredible, that might not be a word that praises him enough.
Strasburg is the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. He stands 6'4" on the mound, and his fastball has been clocked at 103 miles per hour. Though typically his fastball will range in the 95-98 mph zone, Strasburg is an absolute force on the mound.
He also has a good Uncle Charlie curveball, and a slider that is comparable to a Randy Johnson slide piece when Johnson was in his prime.
In 2008, Strasburg went 8-3 for the Aztecs, posting a 1.27 ERA, and striking out nearly two batters per inning. In one game, he struck out 23 Utah Ute batters.
This year, Strasburg went 13-1, with a 1.32 ERA, and 195 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched. Strasburg also pitched a no-hitter in his final home start against the Air Force Falcons.
Strasburg also pitched for team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Strasburg went 1-1 for the Americans, and left with a 1.64 ERA in the Olympics.
He one-hit the Netherlands over seven innings, but lost to the Cuban team.
Strasburg has a never ending list of achievements, including a 2009 preseason All-American selection from Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He was also the first collegiate player to be named to the USA National Team ever, and was SDSU's No. 1 starter since he was a sophomore.
When in the Majors, Strasburg will likely be a strikeout king, like Tim Lincecum or a younger Randy Johnson. His ERA should hover around 3.50.
The 20 year old Strasburg will be the Washington National's first selection in the 2009 draft, and can possibly pitch in the majors when the September call-ups are made.
He's 16, and he's already accomplished more than you will in your whole life.
The sophomore baseball player out of Las Vegas High School has hit home runs 570 feet, been clocked at 96 mph, set the record for longest hit home run at Tropicana Field, and has been called the LeBron James of baseball.
Oh, and that 570 foot home run he hit, yeah he did than when he was a 15 year old freshman.
Harper is so good, that at age 16, a National League scout said he would go No. 2 overall in this year's draft behind Strasburg.
He's just that good. The left handed hitter plays in 100 degree heat in southern Nevada, and is the most talked about 16 year old in the nation.
Harper, who crouches behind the plate at 6'3", is a natural born catcher. He weighs 205 pounds, and swings the bat faster than Mark McGwire.
Take Justin Upton's speed, Alex Rodriguez's bat, Joe Mauer's defense, and combine them together and you get this kid. Bryce Harper.
Harper has been described as Mauer's clone. Mauer and Harper are both similarly framed, and both are left handed catchers.
When in the majors, Harper seems to be a guy who can hit .300, hit 25-35 home runs, and drive in 100 RBI yearly. However, this information is hard to predict at such a young age.
Harper is going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, barring any major injuries. His parents are even trying to get him eligible for the 2010 draft, with help of Harper's adviser, Scott Boras.
Now, if I had to pick one of these players to build a franchise around, assuming these players are the same age, it would be Harper.
Why? Because it's so difficult to find a prospect as good as Harper. Much less, he's a catcher, which is even harder to find.
Harper has been called a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, and you just can't miss him. Despite Harper's 16 year old body, I think Harper would be the better pick above Strasburg.
One major thing I like Harper over Strasburg is because unlike Strasburg, Harper could play almost every day. With Strasburg, you get to see him play once every five games. Harper could start nearly every day at catcher.
Harper is playing nearly 125 games of baseball year-round, so he's only getting better.
But I have to emphasize the point that Harper will be playing 150 games a year in the majors. Strasburg will be playing 34. That has got to be enough reason to franchise Harper over Strasburg.
Harper has so much time to mold into the perfect catching prospect too. He's only been on this planet for 16 years, and he could probably have a decent level of success in the Majors if he were to play today.
Clearly you now know some of the two biggest prospects to ever hit baseball. Strasburg and Harper, both who will be perennial all-stars once they make the show. If you are a baseball fan, or if you have a pulse, you can't wait for either of these two to make it to the big leagues.
Thanks to Sports Illustrated for the information