Stephen Strasburg Debut Steals Thunder of Marlin's Mike Stanton First Game

Good pitching always beats good hitting. So goes the old baseball adage, and in the case of the dueling debuts of Florida Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton and Washington Nationals' pitcher Stephen Strasburg--two of the most important prospects in recent years -- it seems to be true again.

As bad luck would have it, at least for Stanton, both players will be donning major league cups for the first time tonight, with Stanton in the lineup as the Fish visit the Phillies, and Strasburg toeing the mound against the Pirates. Both games start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

The 6'5", 235lb Stanton is projected to be among the best power hitters in the league but he still figures to get nowhere near the press that Strasburg receives, as the savior of the hapless Nationals franchise. Some baseball experts have already said he could be the best pitcher in the majors before he ever even played a game.

But not getting the lead on Sports Center might actually benefit Stanton, especially if it helps ease the pressure of a big league debut. The Marlins wouldn't comment on the coincidental debuts, but have said they are looking to protect Stanton in the past.

Tale of the Tape

                                Stanton              Strasburg
Age                          20                      21
Minors                    21 HR,.311;   7-2, 1.30 ERA
Signing bonus      $475,000           $7.5 million

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