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Nationals react to Strasburg's signing

Nationals react to Strasburg's signing

WASHINGTON -- The signing of right-hander Stephen Strasburg brought excitement to Nationals Park on Tuesday. Pitching coach Steve McCatty is one guy who can't wait to work with the right-hander, who was the first overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

McCatty wonders, however, how much coaching he has to do when he works with Strasburg in the future. McCatty has seen video of Strasburg and believes he is polished.

"How much coaching are you going to do, because he looks really good. He has tremendous talent. We are all excited," McCatty said.

McCatty would give two pieces of advice to Strasburg when he reaches the big leagues one day: be yourself on the mound and be willing to learn.

"Go out and compete through every [pitch] and be willing to learn from it," McCatty said. "Obviously, the guy has tremendous stuff, but there are a lot of things that he still needs to learn. It's not always physical talent. It what's you do with it. He has to go out and relax and find out what he is."

The Strasburg signing proved to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman that the Nationals are willing to spend money to get better.

"To get better, you have to sign your top picks. It's nice to get it done. Hopefully, he will be all everyone thinks that he is," Zimmerman said. "Everybody is saying how good he is -- all this, all that. It got him where he is, but don't forget how he got there and he will be fine."

Strasburg had the numbers to be a top pick. He went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State University en route to being named the Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 batters and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings. But Adam Dunn said he is going to take a wait-and-see approach before he forms an opinion about Strasburg.

"I'm not going to sit here and give him a Cy Young yet," Dunn said. "Any time you sign your first-round pick, especially a high-profile guy like him, that's the kind of stuff the organization needs to turn things around."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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