Stephen Strasburg is a 20 year old senior that pitches for San Diego State University. He also pitched for Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. I don't know that there's been as much hype about a pitcher since Dwight Gooden in mid-80's.
Is the hype deserved? Well, yeah, it probably is. Through five starts this year with SDSU, Strasburg is 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched. He has 88 strikeouts with only 8 walks. That's quite a strikeout to walk ratio. Did I mention that his fastball tops out at 103 mph? He's an incredible talent, no doubt. But are collectors going a bit too nuts for this young phenom?
Here's a recent example of an eBay sale, from yesterday actually, of his 2008 Upper Deck USA Red Autograph /25. The card sold for $550! Seriously? He hasn't even pitched in the minor leagues. I know he's been dominant in college and for Team USA but let's get real. I just can't imagine spending that kind of money for a player who's still in college.
The card pictured is his Team USA Retrospective card from 2009 Upper Deck Series 1 which I pulled from a blaster I purchased. This card is not rare by any means but it sold on eBay for $15. I didn't think twice about selling once I saw what they were going for.
Who knows, he may turn out to be the greatest player I'll ever see pitch in my lifetime. If you're interested, he pitches tomorrow against UC Davis at 2:30pm PST at Petco Park in San Diego.