Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

Saturday April 25, 2009

Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

In an article on ESPN today, Peter Gammons says that Stephen Strasburg will be asking for something between the $38.5 million Mark Teixeira earned over his first six professional seasons and the 6 years and $52 million Daisuke Matsuzaka signed for with the Red Sox.

In looking over the list of pitchers taken 1st overall in the MLB June Draft over the past 20 years,
2007 – David Price
2006 – Luke Hochevar
2002 – Bryan Bullington
1997 – Matt Anderson
1996 – Kris Benson
1994 – Paul Wilson
1991 – Brien Taylor
1989 – Ben McDonald
1988 – Andy Benes
I can only find one that had what could be considered a good career, Andy Benes.

Benes went 155-139 with a 3.97 ERA in 403 career starts over 15 years. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers and he was the best of the lot. Benes is the only pitcher taken 1st overall in the MLB June draft to have a career ERA under 4.00

Throw in the rest of the drafts going back to 1965 and you only find 3 pitchers taken 1st overall that had even decent careers,
1983 – Tim Belcher
1981 – Mike Moore
1976 – Floyd Bannister

With that type of track record I seriously doubt that picking up Stephen Strasburg with the number one overall pick in 2009 and spending $40-52 million will turn out to be a good investment.

Committing that type of money to a pitcher with the 1st overall pick that history would seem to indicate will not work out is a huge risk and one that could bury the Washington franchise for years to come.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

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