Washington Nationals News: How Nats’ ace Stephen Strasburg has evolved

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Oct 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on the evolution of Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals’ farm system.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg and how he has evolved since the Nationals selected him with the No.1 pick in the 2009 draft.

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As Janes notes, Strasburg started his career under the shadow of immense hype. Over his six years with the Nationals, the right-hander has dealt with brutally high expectations, injuries, slumps and more than his fair share of criticism. He’s also pitched extremely well for the majority of his time with the team.

In her article, Janes discusses how Strasburg has changed since he got to D.C., both physically and with his mentality in the clubhouse.

Here’s what General Manager Mike Rizzo had to say about Strasburg in Janes’ article:

"“He’s so much more relaxed in his own skin. He enjoys the interactions with his teammates. He’s come a long way,” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He came in with the most unprecedented hype. Crazy hype. He had to battle through that and get through that. And he’s gotten past that and become such a team-friendly guy, a team leader kind of guy.”"

Strasburg is entering the final year of his contract with the Nationals, and many expect him to test free agency next offseason. For the sake of his team and his free agent value next winter, Strasburg has to excel in 2016 — especially with Jordan Zimmermann no longer a fixture in the rotation.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Mike Rosenbaum breaks down the Nationals’ top-30 prospects for 2016.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has evolved

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg will be a free agent after this season, which means he may not be a Washington National much longer. His legacy, whenever it is time to write it, will be nuanced. It will be complicated by expectations and colored by his personality, which has at times been labeled enigmatic, at others reclusive, at others misunderstood.

But the problem with labeling at all is that people evolve. Public opinion is often slow to perceive it and slower to amend long-standing perceptions. Baseball players grow up, too. Read full article here.

Breaking down the Nats’ 2016 Top 30 Prospects

(Mike Rosenbaum, MLB.com)

There were plenty of reasons to have high expectations for the Washington Nationals in 2015.

The Nats paced the National League with 96 wins in 2014, and though they came up short against the Giants in the NLDS, it was the second time in three years that the club had clinched a postseason berth. Bryce Harper also came into his own as a superstar that October, setting the stage for what would be monstrous MVP campaign the following year, and the Nationals added a bona fide ace during the offseason in free agent Max ScherzerRead full article here.

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