It’s Strasburg Eve, so that means a reminder of just how harrowing it can be to draft a pitcher number 1. We talked about Ben McDonald last week, but here are some more names to throw into the hopper:
Right after McDonald, [Todd] Van Poppel (1990), [Brien] Taylor
(1991) and [Matt] White (1996) were successively called the best high
school pitching prospects of the draft era, and all received
record-breaking contracts while being represented by Boras.
But Van Poppel’s contract-mandated call-ups to Oakland stunted his
growth from the start; a shoulder injury sustained in a fight tore up
Taylor’s ticket to Yankee Stadium; and White, whom scouts praised less
publicly in part because of Van Poppel’s and Taylor’s failures, never
made it to Tampa Bay.
There’s no way on Earth the Nats don’t draft Strasburg, but it’s worth
remembering all of the can’t miss kids who came before him.