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Is Strasburg worth this kind of money?

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Remember Bryan Bullington? Donít feel bad, neither do I.

Bullington was the first overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2002. The highly touted pitcher was 11-3 with a 2.86 ERA at Ball State before being drafted first overall. He struggled as starter in the minors and is now a reliever in Toronto.

How about Matt Anderson? He dominated the WAC with a 1.82 ERA at Rice University before being the first overall pick by the Detroit Tigers in 1997. Heís now in the White Sox farm system.

My favorite is Brien Taylor, drafted first overall by the Yankee in 1991 out of high school. The kid never made the majors and is now a bricklayer who still lives with his parents.

I can keep going if you want. Kris Benson. Paul Wilson. Mike Moore. The list of pitchers drafted first overall who flopped in the majors is long. There have been 13 pitchers drafted first overall since 1965, and only three, Tim Belcher, Ben McDonald and Andy Benes have posted more wins than losses in the majors. The best of the bunch is Benes who only won 16 more games than he lost (155-139). The career win/loss record of the 13 number picks is 816-837 (.494).

So I cringe when I see people laying down a few hundred dollars for an autographed baseball card of Stephen Strasburg.

From 1998-2007, there have been 57 pitchers drafted within the first 10 picks (I wonít count the 2008/2009 drafts because itís too early to tell). Of those picks, Lincecum, Verlander, Kershaw, Grienke and Beckett have been worth the hype. But for every Verlander drafted, thereís been 3 or 4 Mark Priors, if you know what I mean.

So as the hype surrounding Stephen Strasburg continues to reach new heights, keep in mind the other pitchers before him that have flopped tremendously. Even all the hype surrounding David Price has converted to a 6-6 record. Itís early yet so weíll see.

I refuse to speculate any further on the career of Stephen Strasburg. Anyone who can throw over 100 mph, strikeout 23 in a college game and make the U.S. team as a collegiate has my interest. I canít wait to see what the kid does in the majors. However, I also refuse to spend a few hundred dollars for his autograph.

There are too many things that could go wrong to justify that kind of money. Just ask anyone who bought into Mark Prior. Or Ben Sheets. Or Barry Zito. Or any of the other highly touted draft picks who struggled with injuries.
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  1. hobbyfan's Avatar
    Where did you read where someone was charging $100 for a Strasburg autograph? It sounds like price gouging based on idle speculation, and that is wrong.

    It's bad enough that Strasburg is retaining a con artist posing as a lawyer/agent (Scott Boras, of course) to handle his negotiations, but for some leech to overcharge for a mere autograph before the kid even makes the bigs? Where is the Better Business Bureau when you need them?