Stephen Strasburg’s season-ending Tommy John surgery will force him to miss all of the 2011 season, and based on past history of pitchers who’ve come back from that type of surgery, he might not be a 200-inning stud until the 2015 regular season, and the 2016 Strat season.
So for our 2011 draft, Strasburg becomes the ultimate wild-card. He’ll have a worthy card for a righty starter, having struck out 92 in 68 innings. He’ll be great against righties (0.93 WHIP, .207 BAA) but human against lefties (1.27, .241). Whoever takes him will have to be extraordinarily patient, keeping him on the roster for several years until he reaches his promise, which could be the 2013 Strat season at the soonest.
That person could be someone whose roster is already in great shape for 2011… or someone who thinks they’re still more than a year away from contending and are looking to build for the future. Or even someone looking for a stud starter for the last 2-3 months of the year.
For those reasons — plus the fact that nearly everyone on our Dynamic Dozen list had a deflating August, weakening the draft pool — we think Strasburg will still go in the first round. Just not No.1. Our new No. 1 is: