West Hills High School Alum Was No. 1 Overall Pick in 2009 Major League Baseball Draft
By Ryan Schuler
February 23, 2012 (San Diego) -- On Feb. 17, the San Diego State University baseball team began its 2012 season at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the campus of SDSU against the University of Washington. With the start of the highly anticipated season came a special honor. SDSU made it known that no member of the baseball program will ever wear the No. 37 again.
That was the number of former Aztec great and current Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg. That number is now retired.
It was at West Hills High School in Santee, Calif. that Strasburg would begin his run as one of the greatest pitchers to ever come out of San Diego County. As a high school senior, Strasburg would finish with a 1.68 earned run average, striking out 74 batters in 62.1 innings, while throwing seven complete games. His ERA and shutout total were school records. He would be named to the All-Grossmont League North second-team, and team Most Valuable Player.
Strasburg then would make a short trip west to SDSU, where he assaulted just about every pitching record in existence. As a freshman in 2007, he was named to the All-Mountain West second-team. He would pick up the MWC Pitcher of the Week award for the week of April 8.
His sophomore season proved to be his breakout season. He was named a consensus All-American and Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year. He ranked second in the nation in strikeouts with 133 and was given MWC Pitcher of the Year honors seven times that season, including five in a row. Arguably, his best performance came on April 11, 2008 against the University of Utah when he struck 23 batters, tying him for third-most ever in a college game and the most since 1981.
It was after his sophomore season that Strasburg would become a member the collegiate national team, as well as a member of the Olympic team in Beijing.
After his time with the USA National Team, Strasburg would have one more go-around at SDSU, when he was named a consensus All-American again. That season, he would amass a 13-1 record with a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts. His efforts would win him the 2009 Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top collegiate player and the Dick Howser Trophy as the nation’s top player. He was also named the National Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation and the National Player of the Year by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
He became the first overall pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. After undergoing Tommy John surgery that would sideline him for the 2011 baseball season, Strasburg looks to be a fixture in the Nationals’ rotation in 2012.