Thursday, January 1, 2009
Stephen Strasburg is among the best ballplayers in SDSU history
Aztec baseball fans—take note. Stephen Strasburg is giving his right arm a lot of TLC.
The San Diego State pitching phenomenon, coming off standout performances with Team USA at the Beijing Olympics, was back at the gym in early September for daily conditioning workouts with his SDSU teammates. Only Strasburg’s right arm got a reprieve.
He and his coaches decided to give it a few extra weeks of well-deserved rest after Strasburg’s extraordinary 2008 season, in which he set multiple Mountain West Conference records, earned a spot on the USA Baseball National (collegiate) team and capped the year as a starting pitcher for the Olympic baseball squad.
“What an unbelievable experience for him,” said SDSU pitching coach Rusty Filter. “Stephen was part of a national collegiate team that went undefeated this year. In his Olympic starts, he dominated the Netherlands and held his own against Cuba.”
Strasburg was the youngest player on the 2008 Olympic team, and the first college player to be named to that prestigious squad since the decision to include minor leaguers beginning in the 2000 games. The U.S. team won the bronze medal in Beijing this year.
Strasburg’s talent is indisputable, but he has worked hard to be the kind of player who can rack up double strikeout figures in six consecutive games and hurls fastballs at triple-digit speed
When the SDSU junior takes the mound for the Aztecs next spring, Major League Baseball (MLB) scouts will be watching. At this rate, Strasburg is expected to be first overall selection in the 2009 MLB amateur draft.
“I always dreamed of playing in the major leagues ever since my grandma played catch with me in the backyard,” Strasburg said. “I remember watching Tony Gwynn with the Padres and I am proud to have him as a coach here at San Diego State.”
As a West Hills High School senior, Strasburg declined offers to play at Stanford and Yale. Both his parents are SDSU alumni, and young Stephen relished the chance to play for family and friends with the Aztec team he had long supported.
“I can honestly say I would not be where I am today in the game of baseball without the help and support of my coaches and teammates at San Diego State,” Strasburg said. “We’re all on a mission to win.”