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Travis Burten

Steven Strasburg SP WAS

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It took me a while to find the stadium but thankfully I made it in time for the National Anthem. USD, for some reason, had a bunch of relievers going the entire game. No one went more than 2 IP. Denault, the starter for USD, threw some wicked breaking balls (side arm) and held SDSU in check in the first. I thought he was pretty impressive but he didn't last too long.

Strasburg looked intimidating on the mound. He was tall but not scrawny and looked like his entire body was coming at you as he pitched. Strasburg works VERY quickly. I mean VERY quickly.

He looked like he was having trouble warming up as his first two warm up pitches missed the plate by about 4 feet and reached the backstop. He settled down and retired the first 3 batters rather easily by recording 2 Ks and most importantly, hitting 101 MPH, his top speed for the outing (I was sitting next to the gun dude). The next inning, he gave up a long double and a single immediately following it. It looked as if he was frustrated with himself and he showed it as he walked the next batter. USD's coach kept trying to slow him down and advised his hitters to do the same.

Third inning was key for USD, getting their last run on a HR by their catcher, McCoy. Stras was clearly not happy and settled down after this. If I recall correctly, he retired every batter and recorded at least 2 Ks each IP for the rest of the outing.

The gun hit 95+ for every fastball he threw, reaching 100 a few times. However, I was more impressed with his breaking ball. He was throwing a 80-84 MPH slider that even fooled the umpire multiple times. He had excellent command of the pitch and it seemed like every slider wound up on the same spot. USD hitters were sitting on his fastball and had zero chance to hit the slider.

The most impressive thing was how he worked McCoy, who hit a HR off him in his previous AB. He threw him nothing but sliders, basically saying "go ahead and sit on my fastball". I got a good chuckle as McCoy didn't even lift the bat off his shoulder and K'd looking.

Stras got stronger as the game went on. Working quickly and making it look easy. I don't think each subsequent inning he pitched lasted more than 10 minutes. Hopefully he can keep his head on his shoulders and stay healthy because he looks like he could be the real deal.

Side note: I saw a glimpse of tony Gwynn as he walked through the dugout. He is big and you can't miss him but he kept in the shadows the entire game. :-D

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0020.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0021.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0030.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0031.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0034.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t163/esp211/DSCN0035.jpg

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Awesome. There was a writeup in the Seattle Times about how the Mariners screwed themselves out of the No. 1 pick by finishing "hot" last season and probably won't land strasburg now. Kid seems like he's gonna make a big splash.

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He was pretty damn impressive in this game:

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Is it just me or does that delivery look pretty violent? Is it just because it is in fast forward

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I'm not an expert but he looked pretty easy and smooth to me. Remember what scouts said about Lincecum also.

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I'm not an expert but he looked pretty easy and smooth to me. Remember what scouts said about Lincecum also.

Lots of scouts said Mark Prior was the smoothest guy they had ever seen.

The problem is that the human eye is too slow to see the stuff that really matters.

Things like arm action and timing.

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Yoda got O'Leary'd!

(P.S. Thanks Yoda for the writeup, and thanks Chris for the Strasburg analysis. Something all fantasy players eyeing him should take into consideration.)

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Lots of scouts said Mark Prior was the smoothest guy they had ever seen.

The problem is that the human eye is too slow to see the stuff that really matters.

Things like arm action and timing.

I don't disagree but analyzing pitching mechanics is still not a perfect science as far as I know. There are various factors that contribute to injuries like work load, diet, physical make up, etc. Taking your Prior example, he was abused senselessly by Dusty in his first few seasons. Maybe his mechanics had something to do with his injuries but the correlation between abuse and injuries is overwhelming.

Time will tell with Strasburg.

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I was asked to give my views on Strasburg in the Pitcher Evaluations thread a couple of weeks ago and I will summarize my write-up here. In short, Strasburg is the real thing and could be the next pitcher to have a Lincecumish impact at the MLB level. As I have said many times, I am not a mechanics/durability expert by any means - I often defer to someone like Chris O for those things - but Strasburg has the ceiling to warrant taking a risk even if he does have characteristics in his mechanics which could suggest potential physical maladies in the future.

Strasburg routinely sits in the upper 90's with his fastball but its his slider that sets him apart from other live arms. He throws his pitches with confidence and poise yet he will likely need to refine his command. From what I have seen, he badly fools many hitters and that equates to a high percentage of swinging strikes on pitches out of the zone and that is likely to diminish somewhat as the experience level of the hitters he is facing goes up.

Prior to the 2007 season I (at least imho) labeled Lincecum the top pitching prospect in the game and he is making good on that. There are certainly a lot of young pitchers who could inherit that mantle going into 2009 but Strasburg just might be at the top of the list. I definitely read with great interest the mechanical evaluations of Chris O and others, but in Strasburg's case, I think the risk to return ratio might make him worth the gamble.

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Ah, I didn't know there was already a thread on the kid. Damn.

I watched him recently. He is real.

I don't care what competition he is facing. You can't teach 98 and you can't teach that slider.

When I watched, that slider broke so much it was dropping out of the zone. He threw something else that he had better control with. I thought it was a curve as it was between 79-81, but it had late lateral movement. He was much better throwing that for strikes than the slider. May have been a slurve or some other variation of his hard breaking slider. The hard breaking slider was clocking between 83-87.

He featured two different fastballs, a two-seamer and a four-seamer. One version was running up at 97-98, two-seamer was running tailing into righties at 91-93.

He won't spend much time in the minors. If/when he developes a changeup, he will be a lethal pitcher.

What I saw looked much better than Verlander to be honest in almost every way. (movement, slider, but no change yet)

Scary part, his mechanics look erily similar to Mark Prior's.

This is from last August.

I saw him throw one inning and with the naked eye, I didn't like what I saw.

Comparing him to Lincecum isn't a good thing. Their deliveries are totally different.

Lincecum's delivery is very unique and almost all lower body. Scout's didn't like him because of his size and the velocity that he generates, but it's obvious that he can sustain a huge workload. He once threw 158 pitches in a college game and has habitually thrown HUGE pitch numbers. I have no doubt that it is because his motion is the way it is, but obviously I have my critics in here as well.

Prior didn't break down because of Baker. I refuse to believe that. He had poor mechanics. Everyone wants to blame the managers, but guys that have good mechanics don't seem to have the same issues.

Back to Strasburg. I was concerned when I watched him in August and it looks like everyone else that has viewed him has said the same thing I thought, "my goodness, that looks like Mark Prior out there."

You are right, we don't know when a guy will break down, but when several guys that use the same mechanics start to have the same issues, it's a trend that needs to be focused on.

Mr. O'leary weighed in and here is the Drive Line Mechanics piece http://www.drivelinemechanics.com/2008/11/...stephen-strasbu

Everyone is saying the same thing that I said last August: "Gasp, Mark Prior."

It's just scary the similarity in delivery.

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This is from last August.

I saw him throw one inning and with the naked eye, I didn't like what I saw.

Comparing him to Lincecum isn't a good thing. Their deliveries are totally different.

Lincecum's delivery is very unique and almost all lower body. Scout's didn't like him because of his size and the velocity that he generates, but it's obvious that he can sustain a huge workload. He once threw 158 pitches in a college game and has habitually thrown HUGE pitch numbers. I have no doubt that it is because his motion is the way it is, but obviously I have my critics in here as well.

Prior didn't break down because of Baker. I refuse to believe that. He had poor mechanics. Everyone wants to blame the managers, but guys that have good mechanics don't seem to have the same issues.

Back to Strasburg. I was concerned when I watched him in August and it looks like everyone else that has viewed him has said the same thing I thought, "my goodness, that looks like Mark Prior out there."

You are right, we don't know when a guy will break down, but when several guys that use the same mechanics start to have the same issues, it's a trend that needs to be focused on.

Mr. O'leary weighed in and here is the Drive Line Mechanics piece http://www.drivelinemechanics.com/2008/11/...stephen-strasbu

Everyone is saying the same thing that I said last August: "Gasp, Mark Prior."

It's just scary the similarity in delivery.

I would like to make sure I didn't mislead. When I made reference to Lincecum, I did so referring only to their respective ceilings as a MLB starting pitcher. They are, as mentioned, very different in their motions/mechanics/deliveries, however if both stay healthy I would consider them to potentially have similar upside.

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I would like to make sure I didn't mislead. When I made reference to Lincecum, I did so referring only to their respective ceilings as a MLB starting pitcher. They are, as mentioned, very different in their motions/mechanics/deliveries, however if both stay healthy I would consider them to potentially have similar upside.

It wasn't your post Bog. In another post, Yoda used Lincecum as a reference to the scout's being wrong.

That is just not fair. The scouts are also not wrong about Strasburg, he has nasty filthy stuff. AS long as he stays healthy, he will be a stud.

I'm just saying that any comparison about people being wrong about the health of Lincecum and Strasburg isn't a good argument as they are vastly different guys mechanically.

The scouts are wrong on a lot of smaller pitchers because there is a group think that goes on that says that all pitchers have to be 6-5, 220 pound guys, when in reality, many of our best pitchers don't fit this mold. Santana, Lincecum, Oswalt, etc. etc. etc. are all guys smaller in stature than what the average scout will look for in a bonus baby. In fact, I have found that the "standard" cookie cutter type specimen pitchers have been oddly dissapointing in recent years and are breaking down at a rapid rate despite "being built for innings" as the classic saying goes.

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I don't disagree but analyzing pitching mechanics is still not a perfect science as far as I know. There are various factors that contribute to injuries like work load, diet, physical make up, etc. Taking your Prior example, he was abused senselessly by Dusty in his first few seasons. Maybe his mechanics had something to do with his injuries but the correlation between abuse and injuries is overwhelming.

The correlations between abuse and injuries is indeed overwhelming, but IMO not in the direction I think you believe.

If "abuse," as defined by metrics like PAP and PAP3 is indeed so bad, then why are durable pitchers like Randy Johnson so frequently at the top of the lists?

I haven't seen a recent PAP3 list, but in the past I have seen equal measures of trainwrecks and durable guys.

That tells me that, for some reason, some guys are able to handle "abuse" and others aren't.

While I believe that conditioning is a non trivial variable, IMO mechanics are the key reason.

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Strasburg routinely sits in the upper 90's with his fastball but its his slider that sets him apart from other live arms. He throws his pitches with confidence and poise yet he will likely need to refine his command. From what I have seen, he badly fools many hitters and that equates to a high percentage of swinging strikes on pitches out of the zone and that is likely to diminish somewhat as the experience level of the hitters he is facing goes up.

I hate the slider.

I don't know what Strasburg's slider ratio is, but if he's a fastball/slider guy then that combined with problematic mechanics makes him a very high risk guy.

IMO his only chance of lasting 10+ years is as a closer.

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Prior didn't break down because of Baker. I refuse to believe that. He had poor mechanics. Everyone wants to blame the managers, but guys that have good mechanics don't seem to have the same issues.

I agree.

As I said in another reply, why is it that "abuse" only seems to hurt some guys and doesn't affect others?

That says to me that something else (IMO mechanics) is the key variable.

At most, "abuse" may make problematic mechanics cause problems sooner, but that doesn't make abuse the root cause of the problem.

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The scouts are wrong on a lot of smaller pitchers because there is a group think that goes on that says that all pitchers have to be 6-5, 220 pound guys, when in reality, many of our best pitchers don't fit this mold. Santana, Lincecum, Oswalt, etc. etc. etc. are all guys smaller in stature than what the average scout will look for in a bonus baby. In fact, I have found that the "standard" cookie cutter type specimen pitchers have been oddly dissapointing in recent years and are breaking down at a rapid rate despite "being built for innings" as the classic saying goes.

If I ran the zoo, I would focus pretty much exclusively on oddballs who are too short, too fat, or whose velocity is below average, but who know how to get batters out.

Let everyone else fight over the 6-5 giants who throw 95+ but have crappy mechanics.

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The correlations between abuse and injuries is indeed overwhelming, but IMO not in the direction I think you believe.

If "abuse," as defined by metrics like PAP and PAP3 is indeed so bad, then why are durable pitchers like Randy Johnson so frequently at the top of the lists?

I haven't seen a recent PAP3 list, but in the past I have seen equal measures of trainwrecks and durable guys.

That tells me that, for some reason, some guys are able to handle "abuse" and others aren't.

While I believe that conditioning is a non trivial variable, IMO mechanics are the key reason.

Not really sure what you guys are trying to prove. I do believe that there are right and wrong ways to do things. This includes throwing a baseball 100 times every 5 or so days.

However, as I already stated, pitching mechanics analysis is not a perfect science (as far as I know) and there are other factors that contribute to injuries. A pitcher with the most perfect mechanics can slip on the mound and seriously get injured.

I am just a fan who is happy to get a chance to see a phenom like Strasburg. I could care less if he has the worst mechanics in the world. He's fun and exciting to watch.

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I just think it's funny that Strasburg is putting up video game numbers and all you guys do is sit around and nitpick at his delivery instead of enjoying the ride.

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When a guy is still in college and some articles are already trying to say he could be the "Player of the Decade" from 2010-2019 (I can't remember what article I read this) it's only nature to try and find some criticism. My only misgiving is that he doesn't play division I ball, and even the olympics is not near the same level as MLB.

With all that said in any minor league draft I take him #1 if I can take a college player.

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I just think it's funny that Strasburg is putting up video game numbers and all you guys do is sit around and nitpick at his delivery instead of enjoying the ride.

I totally understand what you are saying. I have said the same things about Lincecum.

I'm exciting about watching the kid pitch as well.

It's nothing against Strasburg personally. Knowledge is power though and it's just really hard to watch that delivery without drawing those comparisons. Because I do a lot of dynasty/keepers, I kind of find analysis like this that questions whether or not he is a risk long term to be very helpful. We aren't trying to trash the kid or anything like that.

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I think people take themselves way too seriously around here. It seems like everyone wants to be an 'expert and' they are always trying to disprove or ridicule posters who don't agree with them.

Baseball is a game and we are playing fantasy baseball. Relax and enjoy both.

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Has anyone ridiculed you in this thread?

I'm not sure why you feel that way. Sorry that you do.

I enjoyed watching Prior and I will enjoy watching this kid. I watched Wood's 20 K performance from start to finish and I loved every moment of it. It makes it that much harder when they break down.

I don't think a discussion on Strasburg's mechanics is meant to be taken personally and I don't think anyone meant any malace by it.

Seriously, explain to me your feelings here, because I don't get why you feel that way. Is this from prior experiences here?

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