Washington Nationals: Top 10 homegrown players in team history

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3. Stephen Strasburg

After being one of the most hyped college pitchers ever, Stephen Strasburg was drafted first overall in the 2009 draft. While it certainly has not been easy or uneventful, he has lived up to the hype.

Strasburg burst onto the scene in his MLB debut in 2010, striking out 14 batters. Unfortunately, he tore his UCL and required Tommy John Surgery after just 12 starts, which ended his 2010 season and forced him to miss most of 2011 as well.

After returning from Tommy John Surgery, Strasburg picked up right where he left off, leading the Nats to their first division title in 2012. However, the Nats placed an innings limit on him, and stuck to it despite making the playoffs. This was an extremely controversial decision, but it has paid off in the long run.

Throughout Strasburg’s eight-year career, he has pitched to a 3.07 ERA in 1100 innings. He has also been improving.

2017 was the best season of Strasburg’s career so far, as he pitched to a 2.52 ERA and finished third in NL Cy Young voting. There were also several memorable stretches that proved Strasburg was worth being selected first overall.

Between August and September, Strasburg threw an amazing 35 consecutive scoreless innings. Incredibly enough, this was just a preview of what was to come in the postseason. In two starts against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series, Strasburg did not allow an earned run and struck out 22 in 14 innings.

Due to various injuries and the shutdown, Strasburg’s career has been extremely frustrating at times, but he has also been a phenomenal pitcher. Because of this, he is the third-best homegrown player in team history.