I know it’s only December, but it’s never too early to get excited about the baseball season. This year, there will be a little more hype surrounding the Duke Blue Devils team, mainly because of a certain pitcher.
That pitcher would be Marcus Stroman, a 5’9 right-hander that many compare to Tom “Flash” Gordon (that’s not a bad pitcher to be compared to).
Stroman had a great sophomore season for the Blue Devils, but finished up the campaign with a dominating summer with Team USA. He stepped up as the team’s closer. In seven appearances (8.1 innings), he did not allow a run or a hit. The only base runner reached via a walk. Stroman struck out 17.
Last year with Duke, Stroman was 3-4 with a team-best 2.80 ERA in 17 games (eight starts). He struck out 90 in 64.1 innings in the tough ACC. If only Duke was an overall good team, think of how many save opportunities he could get. Instead, he was one of their better pitchers and was called on to start.
He even played the field a bit as an outfielder. He batted .250 overall, but .309 in ACC games (he started 15 games).
Stroman enters his junior year as the 19th ranked prospect heading into the draft by MLB.com. I know it’s early, but that’s a huge honor, especially for a Duke player.
Here is what MLB.com had to say about Stroman:
College relievers always get looks in the early stages of the Draft if they are believed to be able to move quickly to the big leagues. Stroman has the chance to be the first of those closer types to go off the board.
Because of his size and electric arm, he gets Tom Gordon comparisions all the time. He throws his fastball consistently in the mid-90s with some pretty good tail when it’s down in the zone. He complements it with a power curve that has a nasty late break to it. His command isn’t fine, but he’s generally around the strike zone with both offerings.
As a short reliever, that might be all he needs at the next level. Stroman is coming off a dominant summer with USA Baseball, so scouts will be very curious to see how his junior season unfolds.
*By the way, Duke released its schedule for the 2012 season. They open at TEXAS February 17-19. Texas lost a few pitchers, but did reach the College World Series last season.