Detroit Tigers Prospects

What should the Detroit Tigers expect from the No. 1 pick?

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HOUSTON, TX - MAY 03: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on May 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 03: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on May 3, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

2009: Stephen Strasburg (Washington)

One thing which separates the MLB draft from the drafts of other leagues is the ability for players to be drafted multiple times. Most often, this happens when players feel they can improve their draft stock by going to college, or returning to school for another season.

The exception is players who hold out for more money, which is what some people thought may happen with Stephen Strasburg. With Scott Boras as his agent, speculation surrounded Strasburg on whether he was going to be “signable”.

The San Diego State junior was the consensus top pitcher available, and the Nationals waved off “signability” concerns, and snapped him up.  Strasburg held out until just before the deadline, but signed a record-breaking deal.

Once he signed, Strasburg was on the fast track to the big leagues. The righty made just 11 starts in the minors before making his major league debut on June 8, 2010 against Pittsburgh.

“Strasmas” as it was deemed by some, did not disappoint. Just one day shy of the one-year anniversary of his selection, Strasburg gave up two runs in seven innings with 14 strikeouts.

Injuries and Innings Limits

Late in the 2010 season, Strasburg found out he needed to undergo Tommy John surgery, requiring a 12-18 month rehab. He did make it back for the latter stages of the 2011 campaign, but the Nationals tried to protect his arm with an innings limit.

The limit came into play in 2012, when Strasburg was having a terrific season. He was selected to his first All-Star team, and was striking out 11.1 batters per nine innings. The Nationals shut him down anyway, with about a month left in the regular season.

Return to Dominance

After another solid 2013, Strasburg took things to the next level in 2014. He recorded 242 strikeouts, tying Johnny Cueto for the National League lead. Strasburg also finished in the top-10 in the Cy Young voting for the first time.

Despite being slowed by injuries a little in 2014, Strasburg still managed to win 11 of his 23 starts. The last two years, Strasburg has posted identical 15-4 records, and was selected to the All-Star Game both years.

Last year, he finished third in the Cy Young voting, his highest finish to date. The winner? His teammate and former Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer.

The Verdict

While Scherzer’s presence has kept Strasburg from being the true ace of the Washington staff in recent years, he would be the top option for just about every other team in the majors. He has given them just about everything they could have asked for since they took him nearly eight years ago.

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