Sonic boom

Stephen Strasburg
, RHP, Nationals (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday’s stats: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K

On Monday afternoon, Strasburg hit 99 mph on the radar gun 18 times, 100 mph seven times, and tossed in a single 101 mph fastball for good measure. He needed just 68 pitches to get through his five innings, 43 of them for strikes. All the panic from his one bad start is pretty much gone, with one scout in Arizona saying that he’s the best pitcher he’s ever seen in a league he’s been scouting for over a decade.

Hey, this guy is good too

Drew Storen
, RHP, Nationals (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday’s stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

I feel like I should issue a mea culpa here, as I wrote many times coming into the draft that Storen’s ceiling was more of as a set-up man than a closer. Since then, his stuff has kept improving, as the 93-95 mph fastball he was showing at Stanford earlier in the year is now sitting at 96-97, while his upper-80s slider remains a wipeout pitch. For a player with the classic power/power arsenal, his command and control is downright outstanding. Upgrade granted.

Sleeper Alert!

Kenley Jansen
, RHP, Dodgers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday’s stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

When last we checked in, Jansen was catching for the Dutch team that was the surprise of the World Baseball Classic. A 6-foot-2, 220-pound beast behind the plate with plus-plus raw power, Jansen had one big problem with his game, namely that he couldn’t hit a lick. With a career .229/.311/.337 batting line in 258 pro games, the Dodgers convinced him to take his big arm to the mound, where he struck out 19 in just 11 2/3 California League innings, but also walking 11. He gets up to 98 mph and has no clue where it’s going, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

Others Of Note

  • Starlin Castro
    , SS, Cubs (AFL), 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, SB, CS, K: Castro is tied for the league lead with a .423 batting average (22-for-52), but his overall line of .423/.462/.462 shows that there are precious few secondary skills.

  • Jordan Danks
    , CF, White Sox (AFL), 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R RBI, K: He has a .389/.500/.574 line in 15 games for the Javelinas, a much-needed bounce back after a disappointing showing at Double-A.

  • Buster Posey
    , C, Giants (AFL), 1-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB: By hitting home runs in back-to-back games, Posey is recovering from a slow start.