Q&A: Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman was one of the best high school baseball players on Long Island in the past decade. Hailing from Patchogue-Medford, he was drafted by the Washington Nationals and is now pitching at Duke University.

The basics:
-Drafted in the 18th round (532 overall) by the Washington Nationals last year
-Four-year letter winner at Pet-Med
-Won the Paul Gibson Award as Suffolk County’s best pitcher his senior year
-Won the Carl Yastrzemski Award as Suffolk County’s top player his junior year
-Third-team All-America selection as a senior when he was 9-1 with a 0.25 ERA and 120 strikeouts

Here’s what he has to say …

Cal Hunter: How has the transition been from high school and AAU baseball to the ACC?
Stroman: It has been an unbelievable experience playing in the ACC thus far. It’s one of the, if not, the best baseball conferences in the country and the competition couldn’t get any better. I enjoy competing against the best teams and players in the country. I’d have to say there was a huge transition from high school to playing in the ACC. The game is much faster and you can’t just depend on talent to do well. Extra hours of hard work are needed to take your game to the next level so that you are able to compete against the best.

CH: How difficult was it to turn down the pro contract after you were drafted?
Stroman: During the whole draft process, I was pretty much set on going to Duke unless I was offered an unbelievable deal to skip out on a prestigious academic/athletic institution like Duke. After I met my coaches Sean McNally, Sean Snedeker, and Matthew Boggs, I knew that they would be able to take my game to the next level so it made my decision much easier. Also, the fact that I could get a Duke degree while competing against ACC talent [helped].

CH: Do you keep in touch with any of the other Long Island pro players like Steve Matz, John Lannan, Cam Maron, etc.?
Stroman: Steve Matz happens to be one of my good friends. I was excited when the Mets took him in the second round because I have grown up playing baseball with him my whole life. He’s an exceptional talent and will hopefully be in the major leagues in a couple of years. We talk a couple times a week and let each other know how we are doing. He’s of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet.

CH: What was it like being around for all the basketball action at Duke this year?
Stroman: It was an unbelievable experience when the Duke basketball team won the National Championship. The whole campus was in an uproar and the celebration that took place was second to none. It definitely made my decision that much better because basketball is probably my favorite sport and to be surrounded by a prestigious team is amazing.

CH: Favorite eateries, things to do down there?
Stroman: Eateries: The Loop (on campus), Kanki (Japanese steakhouse), Chipotle
Mexican Grill, and TGI Fridays. Things to do: Hang out with my team, go to Durham Bulls Games, schoolwork, and Baseball 24/7.

CH: Any hostility towards you because your a northerner – from teammates, classmates, etc?
Stroman: There is no hostility because I’m a northerner. My head coach, as well as several guys on the team are from New York, so I was able to fit in easily.

CH: If you’re drafted again before you graduate college will you go?
Stroman: It definitely depends on the situation. I will definitely maximize the time that I have here and get the most out of this opportunity. If I am drafted after my junior year and feel like I am ready to play pro ball, then there is a chance I will do that. It will be a tough decision aided by my family and coaches.

CH: And finally, are you following Pat-Med baseball at all now?
Stroman: I am always following Pat-Med baseball; me and my high school coach Anthony Frascogna text weekly about how I’m playing and how my high school team is playing. They happen to be off to a good start and hopefully they can capture another league title and possibly a Suffolk County championship.

cal hunter

At night when Cal Hunter's family is asleep, the only thing he loves more than a tall glass of Wild Turkey next to his Mac is the clicking of keys when thoughts become words and sentences become a story. He thinks, he lives, he writes. There isn't much more to know.