Storen has sights set on big things in '10
First-round Draft pick excited to make impression in camp
WASHINGTON -- Besides trying to make the Opening Day roster, Nationals right-hander Drew Storen plans to pick the brains of teammates Eddie Guardado, Matt Capps and Brian Bruney.
Storen believes he can learn a lot from those veterans because they've had success in the big leagues as relievers.
"I'm going to try not to annoy them. That's something I did with some of the older guys [in the Minor Leagues]," said Storen, who is currently in Viera, Fla., the Spring Training home of the Nationals. "Professional baseball is different from college. If I can just sit there and ask questions, I can learn a lot about things on and off the field -- how to pitch to guys and what to do in certain situations. I feel fortunate being around those guys."
Storen is considered one of the top prospects in the Nationals' farm system. Drafted in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Storen had a great first season in professional baseball, saving a combined 11 games with a 1.95 ERA for Class A Hagerstown and Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
Storen credits Stanford University for his success in pro ball. While attending the school, Storen learned how to discipline himself.
"I'm really glad I went to college because I learned a lot about how to handle myself on and off the field -- get yourself ready for the game," Storen said. "My parents told me if I go to college, I would learn about time management.
"In all seriousness, that's what I learned -- how to manage baseball and class. I learned how to handle my body over a long period of time. I didn't have that in high school. It was good to have a good approach going into pro ball."
Many thought Storen would get a September callup this past season, but the Nationals decided to give Storen time off so he could be ready for the Arizona Fall League. Storen was solid in the AFL as well, giving up one earned run in 13 2/3 innings for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
Asked if he expected to be in the big leagues last September, Storen said, "It was goal going into the year, but at the same time, I knew it was not in my control. ... I didn't try to think about it too much. People asked me about it and I just tell them the main thing for me was, I'm not really looking for a one month Major League career. I want to be there for a long time.
"I knew the Nationals had a plan for me. I knew I was going to the Fall League. I was excited about that. I'm really content on where I am in the whole process."
When the Spring Training officially starts, Storen will take a backseat to Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals' first overall pick in the '09 Draft.
The media will be wondering if Strasburg's left knee is 100 percent healthy or he can make the Opening Day roster. Storen said he doesn't mind being under the radar.
"I understand he is going to get the publicity because he is that good," Storen said about Strasburg. "People always ask, 'Why don't you get as much publicity as Strasburg?' Well, he is better than me. He is that good. It's something I'm not concerned with. I love the fact that he is giving the Nationals a lot of attention. I love the fact that I can be in the same sentence as that guy. It's something I appreciate and I think it's really cool."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.