Think about it for a second, he can’t. I’m a huge Strasburg fan, and I’m sincerely rooting for him to come close to living up to the hype surrounding him, and I’ll admit, I got caught up in the hype, I believed that he would not just be an all star, not just a superstar, not just a Hall of Famer, but I believed that he would be the best pitcher ever. Then I came down to Earth though, it’s just impossible for him to do. ZiPS projects Strasburg to go 184 and 143 over his career, a good career, but likely not a Hall of Fame career. Even if he does become a Hall of Famer, he will not live up to the hype. People are starting to believe that he will be the best pitcher ever, and he just can’t be.
Strasburg’s career should be considered a gigantic success if he even is an all star. How many pitching busts have there been? Far too many to count. The last two major pitching phenoms who we have a good idea of who their career turned out or will turn out are Josh Beckett and Mark Prior. Beckett became an all star, but he will not be in the Hall of Fame, not even close. Prior had one unbelievable year, but that was it. He is now long gone out of baseball. Prior and Strasburg even have similar mechanics, they both have a slow motion and bad arm action. Strasburg’s velocity will decline mightily over the next few years.
Strasburg is a flame throwing righty with a fantastic curve and a plus change up, as well as fantastic command, but it is so easy to get injured. A single shoulder or elbow injury could end his career or he could never develop. The list of busts go on and on, Todd Van Poppel, Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, I could go on forever. The point is that pitching prospects have by far the highest probability to get injured or just plain not make it. Do I think that will happen with Strasburg? No. Do I think Strasburg will be a premier pitcher for years to come and an ace? Yes. Do I believe Strasburg will be a Hall of Famer? Probably not.
Strasburg is the best pitching prospect ever, but he is a PROSPECT, and many prospects never pan out. Strasburg cannot and will not live up to the hype.