On the day that Stephen Strasburg made his MLB debut, we dust off this conversation with Keith Law, originally posted on July 7, 2009.
If you're reading this blog, there's a high probability that you've heard of Keith Law. Keith is a veteran of Baseball Prospectus and the Toronto Blue Jays' front office, and currently the lead baseball analyst for ESPN's Scouts Inc. Keith took the time to answer a few questions on how Yu Darvish compares to Washington Nationals draftee, Stephen Strasburg.
NPB Tracker: How does Strasburg's repertoire compare to Darvish's?
Keith Law: Darvish shows far more pitches than Strasburg, who has four but spent most of the spring using just two.
NT: Who do you like better mechanically?
KL: I would say Strasburg – he's easier and cleaner – although the sheer arm speed puts us into uncertain territory with Strasburg. We have little experience with starters who throw that hard and get their arms going that fast.
NT: If you had to choose one of the two pitchers for an MLB rotation this year, who would it be?
KL: I don't think there's a wrong answer here, but I'd take Darvish, given his experience facing a higher level of competition.
NT: Which of the two has the higher upside, and why?
KL: That's a good question and I have gone back and forth on this. I think Strasburg's fastball and hard curve rate well ahead of Darvish's top two pitches, so I'd take Strasburg.
NT: Thank you Keith.