Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Strasburg's Signing is Good For The College Game
I am glad that Stephen Strasburg signed his contract. It's good for the pro game and even better for the college game. College and San Diego State in particular, made Strasburg the richest top pick in MLB history. As a slightly pudgy High School pitcher, he drew some pro interest, but scouts didn't think he quite had the physical and mental make-up to survive a pro lifestyle.
Many colleges weren't knocking down his door either...But, San Diego State did and the rest is history.
In our opinion, college can help a player become more disciplined, focused and stronger from the ages of 18-21 than the pro's can. In Strasburg's case, college gave him the time to mature, get stronger, smarter and develop a good work ethic to help him ease his way into the spotlight. San Diego State provided him with a more controlled and disciplined environment than he would have had if he were to be thrust directly into the minors at age 18. Many high school athletes should take note. How many players are eaten alive by the pro system before the age of 20? Would they have been better off with a regimented, mentor filled college experience? We think so.
As happy as we are, the signing almost didn't happen. According to the Washington Post, the signing took place Just 77 seconds before a witching midnight deadline. The franchise that so often gets kicked when it is down and the town that is constantly accused of baseball's original sin (being Washington) proved that it could do something big and difficult and right.
And although Washington is the beneficiary of the most exciting top pick in decades, it is College Baseball in general that is the big winner with the Strasburg signing.
While Strasburg is the big story, High School star, Mathew Purke a first round pick by the Rangers has decided to go to TCU, turning down a $4 million dollar offer. It's a trend folks. Pitching great, Rick Sutcliff talked one night on a TV broadcast. With all he had done, he still said his one regret was not going to college and enjoying those years. A college education is priceless...its not always about the money.
Other notable drafted players that are returning to their schools to improve their draft status next year and get another year closer to a degree are: Josh Spence (Arizona State), James Paxton (Kentucky), Bryan Morgado (Tennessee),Ryan Woolley (UAB), Craig Fritsch (Baylor) and Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State).