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Nationals Take Gamble On Phenom Strasburg In MLB Draft

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If ever there was a team that could have used their top pick in the Major League Baseball draft in order to stock pile players, it was the Washington Nationals. This year's draft had one big name only, and that name was Stephen Strasburg.

The San Diego State pitching phenom is considered by many to be the best pitching prospect ever. That is saying a lot for a player who has not pitched one inning of minor league baseball.

The team that had the rights to select Strasburg was the Nationals. The problem, however, is that Washington is not only one player away from competing. They have many holes that need to be filled before they become competitive again.

Still, with the option to trade their rights to Strasburg, the Nationals instead decided to take a gamble. They chose Strasburg with that number one pick, with the hopes he will anchor their rotation for years to come.

There is a bigger problem for the Nationals, however. Strasburg is represented by super-agent Scott Boras. The line has already been drawn in the sand, and Boras is expected to seek a six year-$50 million contract from the Nationals.

That is a lot of money for a young, unproven pitcher. There are many dangers for Washington with Strasburg. Even if they do find the finances to sign the pitcher, they will be faced with a dilemma. How long do they keep this kid down in the minors when he is better than anyone on their Major League staff?

If they do decide he can pitch at the Major League level, will they be able to fight the urge to bring him up too soon and risk injury. The Cubs had a similar situation years ago with Mark Pryor.

Chicago gambled much like the National will do. They brought up Pryor, and he was outstanding. Then, in a blink of an eye, he was injured, and has fought injuries his entire career, never becoming that one in a million pitcher he was projected as.

As they say in the casinos when a bet is laid, good luck. Here's hoping this gamble pays off for the sake of the player, and the team.

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