Steven Strasburg To Debut Tonight In The Arizona Fall Leageu

matthias kosterContributor IOctober 16, 2009

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 21:  Stephen Strasburg, the overall first pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft, waves to fans as he takes part in a press conference where he was introduced at Nationals Park August 21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Strasburg, a right handed pitcher from San Diego State University, signed with the Nationals earlier this week wth a record contract for an amateur player.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


The Arizona Fall League , the number one off-season prospect league in professional baseball, kicked off their season earlier this week. While this in itself is a reason for prospect fans to take notice, the unofficial season kick-off happens tonight, friday Oct 16th. What's the occasion? It's the professional debut (outside of a small instructional league stint) of #1 overall pick Steven Strasburg. Strasburg is the owner of 100 MPH fastball and a plus-plus slider. He was awarded the largest bonus ever to a pitching prospect. 


Here's a quote from the official Washington Nationals media department



The Nationals have placed Strasburg on a slow track, resisting the temptation to send him to short-season Class A ball and perhaps rushing him to the Majors when rosters expanded to 40 men on Sept. 1. Instead he spent much of the summer at home in San Diego, taking it easy.

“I did some deep-sea fishing, played some golf, spent some time with my family,” he said. “I knew this was going to be my last summer off, hopefully for a long, long time.”

In September, Strasburg was sent to the Florida Instructional League, where he threw five live innings over the course of two appearances. What the Nationals have in store for him in 2010 is up for conjecture, he said. He signed a Major League contract, though there’s no guarantee that he’ll be in Major League camp come Spring Training.

All Strasburg knows is that he’s ready to get back to work. He’s not aware of any pitch count for his first AFL outing. He threw three innings at Kissimmee, Fla., last Saturday, so he figures he will probably go longer than that under the Friday night lights.



Will Strasburg live up to the hype? If he gets shelled in his first start is it time to panic? Of course not. Still, all eyes in the prospect world will be on the 21 year old starter.