June 8th, 2010 is a date that baseball fans should circle on their calenders and remember for a long time as a pair of phenoms are set to make their major league debuts this evening. Stephen Strasburg (RHP) of the Washington Nationals and Mike Stanton (OF) of the Florida Marlins are both set to make their highly anticipated debuts for their respective clubs this evening. Both men come with much fanfare as they currently are viewed as the consensus top pitching and hitting prospects in all of baseball.
Last June, the Nationals selected Strasburg with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft where he was viewed by many as the best amateur pitcher of all-time with a fastball clocked in the triple digits and a nasty repertoire of breaking ball stuff. After signing a four-year deal worth $15.1 million with the Nationals before even throwing a big league pitch, Strasburg has failed to quiet the hype that surrounds him as he has simply overmatched minor league hitters and has proven he is ready to take his stuff to the big leagues. In 11 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season, Strasburg has posted an impressive 7-2 record along with a 1.30 ERA, 65 K, and a 0.79 WHIP in 55.1 IP. Strasburg’s debut will be like no other in history as he is set to make the Nationals around $1.5 million in his first start alone, Darren Rovell of CNBC reports. Not to be outdone, the MLB Network has joined the media frenzy by televising Strasburg’s debut live with the great Bob Costas announcing from the booth. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick recently revealed his Top 9 most-hyped baseball draft picks of all-time and the list provided some interesting names with Strasburg’s taking the top spot. The Nationals are hoping Strasburg isn’t the next Mark Prior and can have a long, illustrious career. It all starts tonight.
While not met with as much anticipation as Strasburg, baseball fans are set to see a future star in Mike Stanton make his debut for the Marlins tonight. Not to be confused with the former 19-year veteran MLB pitcher of the same name, Stanton entered the season as the No. 3 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America behind only Jason Heyward (OF) and Strasburg. With Heyward already making a impact in the big leagues, Stanton finds himself with the dubious honor of the top hitter in the minors. In 52 games at Double-A, Stanton has hit for a .311 AVG, 21 HR, and 52 RBI. With numbers like those, the Marlins are eager to bring up their top prospect where he is expected to patrol right field for the club. Stanton is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound former football player who has unprecedented power that some scouts have naturally compared him to former Marlins farmhand Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. In 714 minor league at-bats, Stanton has hit an impressive 61 HR, which translates to a HR every 11.7 at-bats, all at the age of 20. While Strasburg will garner the most attention tonight, don’t forget to keep an eye on Stanton. It’s not often baseball sees players with this kind of talent debut in the same season let alone in the same night.