Future Stars: Drew Storen, Washington Nationals

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2010

By Todd Farino, www.thecloserreport.com

Player: Drew Storen
Round Picked: One
Position: RP
Team: Washington Nationals
MLB Chances in 2010? Date?: 65 percent/September call-up 
Drew Storen is as hyped as they come. A commanding closer in college for Stanford, Storen has shown a brilliance that is hard to find in a 22-year-old player. The Nationals drafted him in the first round of last year's draft. 
Scouting Storen, you can see he has complete command of his fastball and a hard curve, and both can easily get players out. His fastball tops out at 94, and that is hittable for a closer. His curve isn't the best closer pitch.
Storen will have to develop his rarely-used changeup to be effective in the majors. Once developed, Drew Storen could close for the Nationals and even be converted into a starter. 
All the hype I'm hearing is by the end of 2010, Storen could be the Washington Nationals' closer. I'm here to tell you to snipe the hype. This kid, this outstanding prospect, will probably not see the field this year and at best will be a September call-up. The reason is simple: He's not ready.
Getting college outs is a whole lot different from major league outs. He needs to get more muscle on his fastball and develop a sneaky changeup. Most MLB batters can spot a curve or fastball if they know that's all that is coming. Then he needs to mature, learn the system, and handle the pressure.
All of that and the rest of the maturation process could easily take one year. Also, rushing the kid up to the majors could do more harm than good.
Don't get me wrong—if the Nationals take a major plunge and have massive injuries, sure they will bring him up. I know that there is a large group of people who seem to think he will close this season. Here's my question to all of you: Why would the Nationals sign Matt Capps for two years?
We are already assuming Storen will be major-league ready at some point this season, but that doesn't explain the Capps signing. Why sign a closer, and why for two years? The answer is, they don't know what they have, and they have to find out.
Will Storen close, or will he start? Whichever it is, he should be an outstanding pitcher—just not in 2010.

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